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Thread: Water Temperature and dry suits on Lake Creek?

  1. #1
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    Default Water Temperature and dry suits on Lake Creek?

    Two Quick questions,

    Does anyone know what the water temperature is on lake creek (float trip) about now?

    Also, I will be wearing waterproof clothing the whole way down, but am wondering whether anyone would recommend a dry suit. Have any people that you've known taken a spill and had difficulty being rescued? Should the boat have a throw bag for safety on lake creek?

    I know these questions may seem trivial, but it seems as if there are only two sections of scoutable class four rapids and they seem short. Would one be able to get rescued after the rapids assuming one fell in?

    Thanks for your help guys. I really appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Default I would imagine..........

    Quote Originally Posted by ichy076 View Post
    Two Quick questions,

    Does anyone know what the water temperature is on lake creek (float trip) about now?

    Also, I will be wearing waterproof clothing the whole way down, but am wondering whether anyone would recommend a dry suit. Have any people that you've known taken a spill and had difficulty being rescued? Should the boat have a throw bag for safety on lake creek?

    I know these questions may seem trivial, but it seems as if there are only two sections of scoutable class four rapids and they seem short. Would one be able to get rescued after the rapids assuming one fell in?

    Thanks for your help guys. I really appreciate it!

    I have spent alot of time in dry suits in AK... They are very very very uncomfortable and very warm out of water, esp in area's where as warm as lake creek... While I am pretty comfortable in them because I have had to use them for work, really they are overkill unless u are really sure you will be swiming in the river you are in... I would guess that the water temperatures this time of year vary from 50-68 F.... Waders, wader belt, and life jacket would be much more practical unless you plan on doing some diving into the river.

    You could don your dry suits just for the rapids them take them off and put them away after you are safetly through them.

  3. #3

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    It's been years since I floated Lake Creek, but the only significant obstacle were boulders on river left in the rapids, we had so much gear that we preferred to line the raft on river right with no problem. At the time we were lining our boat another rafter decided to negotiate the small drop and boulders, but lost control -- his boat spun around, but came through ok. If you have experience negotiating rock gardens and reading the water ahead, you should have no problem. If the weather stays good, dry suits would be supremely uncomfortable.

  4. #4

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    Just to be clear: Lake Creek is not a cake walk, unless you are an experienced paddler you are asking for trouble; wearing a dry suit does not compensate for lack of experience.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    One or more throwbags should me mandatory for your trip. Everyone should practice tossing them before you leave the lake and re-stuff them. You probably won't need them, but better prepared than not. If you're swimming don't grab the bag, grab the rope otherwise you'll continue downstream until you finally get to the "end of the rope" so to speak. Have a great trip and be careful.

  6. #6
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    Default bobber...Cake Walk...

    First, I agree with bobber, that Lake Creek is not Cake Walk.
    But I believe wearing a dry suit would be way-overkill.

    Last time I did Lake Creek I did temporarily lose an oar, my first loss, in an entrapment.
    And I did temporarily lose a passenger, not my first loss, during his moment of complacency.
    But still, if I were going next week-good idea- I would not wear dry suits or wet suits.
    I would discuss rescue stuff, especially "self-rescue" with all members of your group, as usual. (...as usual... because, even in a clear water river, I'll bet everthing turns black from the bottom of the river.)

    Great water, great fishing, limited camping areas.
    Water Temp? I do not know. But it's cold. Not 37 degree "glacial river cold". But cold enough that I did not enjoy wading into it without waders for more than a minute on warm day.

    The archives are full of Lake Creek stuff.

    Dennis
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  7. #7

    Default Yep, it's chilly!

    I took an unintended swim on Lake Creek last year after my brother flipped his 14 ft round raft on a sweeper in a narrow channel, and I can tell you the water is definitely on the cool side. It wasn't so cold that it was immediately debilitating though. The bigger problem was the current was very fast and the lack of back eddies made getting out all the more difficult. That made for a lot longer ride (swim) than I would have liked. This time last year the river was running very high with all the rain we got, so it might be a LITTLE tamer (but more technical) this season.

    So with all that being said, I would agree that a dry suit is probably overkill and maybe even a false sense of security. A few things I would recommend:

    (1) IF you are going to wear waders on the river, make sure you wear a good belt to help keep the water out if you take a swim. Someone on this forum once recommended wearing neoprene waders with the feet cut off under your rain gear. Helps keep you warm, adds buoyancy, and won't fill up with water. Haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like a great idea.

    (2) ALWAYS make sure that your gear is securely strapped in (including oar tethers). The typical orange gear net didn't work so well for us, so for me it's cam straps on everything now.

    (3) Wear a good Type V PFD with something like 22+ lbs of flotation. It's not much fun trying to swim in cold whitewater, and it's even less fun if you have a bunch of fishing gear on.

    (4) Definitely take the throw bags. Cheap insurance...

    Finally, my brother got hung up on day two of the trip, well before the two famous rapids you are talking about. Don't let your guard down at any point until you get to the flat water at the mouth. Be careful, and have a great trip. It's beautiful country up there.

    Rob

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    Looks like the river is currently at 1.45 feet depth, which suggests that it is fairly low, right? I assume that it will make more of the boulders pop out of the water, yet the river will be more tame than usual, right? Ultimately, I heard that everyone heads left on the rapids and in the rock gardens. Is that your experience or have some people headed more right in some areas (assuming no new tree obstacles)? What's your opinion on the 1.45 feet depth?

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    Has anyone gone in 1.45 feet depth this or last year? Anything close to it? Thanks for any input.

  10. #10

    Default Water is VERYlow and not too cold

    Just returned from a 5 day Lake Creek float trip. Water is VERY low…some say the lowest they’ve ever seen it. Dodged rocks the entire trip but only had to drag the boat (Alaska Raft Kayak “cat”) a few times for very short distances. Waters not freezing but I wouldn’t stand in it for long without chest waders which we used. Two spots I can think of that require your attention but are very short. Experienced rowers no sweat - no experience don’t do it. Hard to grab good water with the oars as they bounced off the bottom rocks going through the canyons.

    It’s easy to get hung up on rocks with swift current in the narrow spots wanting to flip the boat so be careful with that. Great camping the entire way down. Lower end was a zoo with no boats making it past Yenlow. I KNOW this holiday weekend is going to be crazy based on what we already saw.

    Fishing was HOT HOT HOT all the way down the river. Rainbows and Grayling up top with Kings already half way up in deep pockets.

    Dry suit you’ll bake if the WX stays hot. I wouldn’t do it but we always wore our PFDs.

    Plenty of fish. Be safe and enjoy.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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