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Thread: Upper Sag River Float

  1. #1
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    Default Upper Sag River Float

    I'm planning on getting dropped off in the upper Sag River in mid-August and drifting out to the Haul Rd using a 9 ft Avon. My buddy will have the same. Has anyone done this trip? I'm looking for advice and any help is much appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default check out the following link

    A couple of Packrafters have done it here is their accounts of their trip:

    http://packrafting.org/forums/viewto...ag+river#p2853

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Sobering account...

    and 2 experienced guys too.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Where are you putting in on the upper sag? Ive done it before depending on where you put in. Im rarely in here so if you want to talk to me my email is sambuck12@hotmail.com. What are the dates you will be up there?

  5. #5
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    Default

    Well, neither of us are "experienced" rafters but both of us have spent our lives outdoors. Both of us are very good at reading water and I spend a good portion of my spring/summer/fall running jet boats on very challenging water in Southeast Alaska.

    We have been in the upper Sag before ... 3 day hike in and 4 day hike out ... 43 total miles not including the ups and downs. The river was placid at that time but it was early September and low. However, I know those gravel bars are there for a reason ... and don't know what to expect below the Brooks and Atigun.

    Any advice is appreciated and thanks for posting.

  6. #6
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Planning, information...

    and sometimes lots of it. I'm still very much a newbie at rivers here, but understand that the challenges of a trip can make it all the more appealing. Still, so many things matter on any AK river trip, some you control (planning, gear, information) and some you don't (water levels/flow, weather, bear/large moose temperaments encountered). Good advice for one boater - Andrew Embick, for instance - would not be good advice for others. A good decision in one situation, might be a bad call in another. But you can search these forums and contact individuals via PM for more information.

    From Brian Richardson in another thread: "Maybe give us an some idea what other rivers you have been running, what boat ya plan on using, how much gear, and what time of the year... all this can weigh in on providing you with good info." http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=79610

    A lot of information for only 3 posts -started by John S:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=18117

    Good information:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=14180

    Sage advice (post#8) from Daveinthebush and other tips too about hunting up in that area:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=12297

    Post #8 by Erik in AK worth noting here:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=34528

    Three indispensable books for planning an AK float trip/hunt follow.
    Even for rivers not included (the Sag is not specifically described except Delorme), these books are excellent for learning and understanding what to look for in good and less desirable rivers according to your goals, experience, commitment and sometimes - budget.

    Jettmar:
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=375

    Strahan:
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=400

    Delorme:
    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...roducts_id=188

    And other data:
    There's a "sticky note" at the top of the Rafting forum, info posted by Mike Strahan on the Alaska River Forecast Center (http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/), which has specific info on the Sag that might interest you: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydro...,1,1,1,1,1,1,1

    Planning is a factor we control. Luck, good or bad, isn't.

    Have a good trip.

  7. #7

    Default Read

    READ YOUR GUIDEBOOKS FOR RATINGS, then determine if you are capable. The Sag. has been rated class III- IV, depends on water level.

    If a boater is a class II boater, a remote trip would be foolish ,at best, if the river is rated higher than that.

    If a boater feels they are capable of doing a particular remote run but is nervous, run it at lower water.( The Sag. also has a gage)

    If you do not have class III-IV whitewater skills, learn them on local streams then go remote to a similar river.

    have fun,
    MO

  8. #8
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    Default

    Thanks for the advice ... our timing may be wrong this season with mid-August. I do not like the idea of class III in a 9ft Avon ... doable but not exactly enjoyable if you're not there for whitewater! Early September seems more reasonable with avg lower flows. From the feedback, there are two areas that are issues from what I can tell. A section just upriver of the confluence of the Atigun River, a waterfall. Next, a long drawnout section the last 10 miles above the DOT takeout. Lot's of standing waves and submerged boulders. We have put our feelers out w/ a guide familiar with this area ... and we are waiting his reply. He won't steer us in the wrong direction being potentially liable for our welfare; which is good.

    Strangely, I feel like I'm on the receiving end of similar advice I gave a few rafters a few years back that wanted to raft a section of the Taku River that I work on ... this section has Class V rapids and Class IV in the nicer spots and has destroyed some very experienced rafters in the past. Not a long stretch being only about 2 miles, but bad. The three that called me asked what I thought about two small rafts and an inflatable kayak ... I said to look elsewhere. I then called the local helo service to beat them to the punch fearing they would look for a second opinion and do so through the dropoff service. Sure enough, they called them shortly after but I had already alerted the helo shop to their insane idea and they too bruntly said go elsewhere. To this day, there is still a large 20' big water raft lodged in a jam from a half dozen years ago ... that section of the Taku up the Shesley is harsh!

  9. #9
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Default

    i have jet boated part way up just before getting into the mtns, just past dot station. i took on 40 -50 gallons of water in 4-5 foot standing waves thought i was going to get wet and loose my new boat. heard there are rougher spots up stream. water was pretty high as i recall. alot of rapids downstream from there to ice cut but only one other bad spot 4 foot drop if wrong path taken.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

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