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Thread: For those that want to cross the Sag River...

  1. #1

    Default For those that want to cross the Sag River...

    ...be careful. I've seen quite a few posts on here over the years saying folks wade across the Sag, and take small intertubes up north to get to the other side. This river might not look like much, but it's no joke.

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/j...pe-river-trip/

    This is by far the first death caused by Sag, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    This is also a good warning to those that carry a pack raft and no PFD. I know the life jacket weighs a little bit, but I wouldn't raft without one.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    This is also a good warning to those that carry a pack raft and no PFD. I know the life jacket weighs a little bit, but I wouldn't raft without one.
    Ditto that, one saved my life in May of this year. No Doubt about it wear a PFD period..

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    And it does not matter who you are... THAT water NEVER warms up, much above freezing. you have but a few moments of strength in it and thats it.
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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Wife (5'1") and I crossed the Sag in '05. so it can be done without a raft. We did bring the Aire traveller, but didn't even need to inflate it.
    We were fortunate that it was so low, but as Vince said, that water was bitter cold.
    We crossed at Ice Cut and used our Leki poles to find our way through the riffles.
    When we took our waders off our legs were COLD.
    Definitely a killer if extreme care isn't practiced.

    We took a great bou at about 6 miles out, and it was a great hunt, but I did worry that we would get a hard rain and it would swell the river for our return across. We had left the raft in the truck to avoid critter damage which could have been a big mistake.
    Fortunately it was 78*, sunny, bugfree, and gorgeous--awesome for mid September.

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    I have crossed it 3 times in waders. That said, those that posted before warning of it being dangerous are right. I cross it up by deadhorse where the river is split in several places. That makes it doable. It is still dangerous though and if there was a rain (even where you could not see it raining) it could swell the river and I would be stuck on the other side until it recedes.
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  7. #7

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    Right now it is sunny and hot in Prudhoe, but has been raining in the mountains. I drove by the river last night and it was moving pretty good, and very murky. I had the pole with me with grayling on my mind, but it wasn't going to happen. Usually you are safe if you can see the mountains clear as day, but if there is cloud cover hiding them, I wouldn't cross or park my truck/trailer next to the river hoping that it won't rise. We almost last a brand new F350 that way 20 or so years ago.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The next time I'm up there, I'll be using my Alpacka to cross the Sag. That's the only way I'll do it, especially after lending it to my buddy and getting this picture in return.


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    The next time I'm up there, I'll be using my Alpacka to cross the Sag. That's the only way I'll do it, especially after lending it to my buddy and getting this picture in return.

    Yes Brian, I need a pic like that of my boat. Life vests are always a must when my wife and I packraft as well.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default great buddy

    That right there is an inspiring photo. I'd like if my buddies gave back photos of gear in use.

    So what about south of Antigun pass, north of Wiseman, heading in East, will I need a raft?

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    That right there is an inspiring photo. I'd like if my buddies gave back photos of gear in use.

    So what about south of Antigun pass, north of Wiseman, heading in East, will I need a raft?
    you have the Koyukuk there big horse... you will need somthing... you cross it a BUNCH of times getting to atigun it winds all through the valley and had other branches that run the other side of the hills.
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    Default 1st sag death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
    This is by far the first death caused by Sag, and I'm sure it won't be the last.
    i thought i read where a hunter drowned up there on the sag in 03 or 04? floating his bou across? maybe not.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sellisrulzz View Post
    i thought i read where a hunter drowned up there on the sag in 03 or 04? floating his bou across? maybe not.
    After I looked at that statement again, I didn't word it very well. I meant to say that there have been several deaths on the Sag, and this probably won't be the last.

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    Default have watched failed attempts.....

    against advisement 5 guys attempted to build a raft with equipment innertubes and cross the sag... 4 tubes and a few pallets and not near enough rope (twine in their case) they set afloat and promptly broke apart as soon as they hit current...

    we had moved about a mile down stream and threw lines to help them out of the water..... needless to say, after they got dry and warm, they hunted the west side of the river from that point on.

    that's just one of a few.

    I've done some creative river crossings over the years, I'll admit that. The difference being: having proper training, equipment and a healthy respect for what can go wrong. Above all else, I listen to that annoying inner voice that has kept me alive over the years.... if she says "this is a bad idea" I listen and find another way.

    Some things just aren't meant to be....

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    LOL RDK.... i know that inner voice. too... but you know on occasion it stalls out and steps up to the plate as your in the middle of what ever....and then it is not a wisper.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    It's when you can't say, "I knew I shouldn't have done that", that you are REALLY in trouble.

  17. #17

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    wasnt there a guy who drowned in the sag a few years back by the slope mt camp Jerry? Thought he had a pack on trying to come back after a successfull hunt. His partner also made it...think it was 5 or 6 years ago now.

    I remember a low water year trying to cross in neoprene chest waders...what a fun swim that turned out to be. Now I'm not quite dumb enough to find a bad spot of water to try and do it in...found a pretty good spot, minus that one last hole I needed to get above. ya not so much. Thankfully it wasnt to long of a stretch of deep water. Guess I was fat enough at the time that little water got in the waders...it sure did make for a few years of some sketchy issues with the spotting scope though.....thought was I would float acrossed with the float tube if I needed it..ended up forgetting the dang float tube, had waders and fins.

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