The Noatak - some local advice needed
I'm heading out from Scotland to paddle the Noatak next month and I'm trying to decide where to get out at Noatak Village or go all the way to Kotzebue.
If the weather is good I am keen to go all the way as i know that the Kotzebue sound can be dangerous (and I don't want to end up in Russia!).
Does anyone know of any in Kotzebue who could pick me up by boat from the moth of the Noatak if the weather is not good. I'll have a satalite phone so I will be able to ring for a pick up.
Also I could do with some advice on the best way to check the weather forcast. Is it worth me bringing my VHF radio (thats what I would usein Scotland) but is it different for the Alaska.
Any help would be fantastic! I really can't wait to get back in the Alskan wilderness.
VHF Radio will be essential. If I had a boat I'd help ya out, I'm here in Kotzebue - no boat though.
For the weather, you can check out wunderground.com or call the National Weather Service at 907-442-3231 - they would be more than happy to help. You can also reach them on channel 16 on the VHF - it is monitored from midnight to 5pm 7 days a week w/ a weather broadcast to include the tides at 9:40am and 3:30pm on channel 68.
If you need anything while in Kotz, shoot me a PM.
Thanks for your reply and offer of help.
I ran an outfitting business up in Kotz for many years and worked with many float groups doing the exact trip you are undertaking. Your best take out id Noatak Village because the sound is dangerous to cross and just is not worth the effort. Getting into the village of Noatak ic a challenge because the channel of the river that use to lead to Noatak has changed and you will need to portage over a sizeable island to reach the village. I have done this a few times and know your pain first hand, or you will know my pain.
You can fly out from Noatak to Kotz for about $180 + the cost of your freight. When you get in to the village go to the store (Noatak Native Store) located next to the school, and ask who is the Bering or Frontier agent to arrange your flight.
Make sure your craft is inflatable or foldable so it can fit in a air plane.
Shoot me a PM if you have any other questions as I have lots of experience with this type of trip.
Thanks for the advice Walt.
That portage to Noatak sounds like an interesting one at the end of the trip!
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