Black Rapids-Susitna Glacier traverse, anyone here done this?



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  • Black Rapids-Susitna Glacier traverse, anyone here done this?

    Hello all,
    I am wondering if anyone on here has done the Black Rapids to Susitna Glacier traverse in the July time frame? If so, what conditions to expect? Are all the crevasses exposed then, all the way up through the pass? I've hiked up the first 15 miles or so of Black Rapids Glacier during August, and it looks to be exposed as far as I could see back up to the pass.

    Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated for proper gear selection and planning.

    Thank you in advance for your help,


  • #2
    i'm sorry i don't have any info for you but i am glad you asked because i was possibly looking into going there this summer. what's your trip plan like?

    also when you were on it before how'd you even get to it, with crossing the delta and all.


    • #3
      Black Rapids-Susitna

      My trip plan would be to start at the Gerstle River bridge, cross over that portion of the AK range to black rapids. Crossing the Delta river below the rapids and glacier is not bad, it is a braided channel where I have done it before. We used a small inflatable raft. This time, it would be with an alpacka. After going up Black Rapids and down Susitna glacier, we would cut overland to the headwaters of the Nenana and packraft to McKinley Village. This is the route of the 2009 Alaska Wilderness Challenge.

      I have hiked (and rafted) various portions of this route, but never linked them together.

      BTW, I know some people who have waded/swam the Delta river at that location. Wouldn't recommend that, unless you have a partner, practiced a lot, and have a safe plan for doing so.

      Not sure if I am up to doing this in 3-4 days(like previous winners), but more like 6-7 would be do-able for me.

      What are your plans?


      Chris Wood


      • #4
        well chris, my trip isn't set in stone just an idea, but how i had imagined it would be to cross the delta in a pack raft, hike up the black rapids glacier and then raft the east fork of the susitna to the denali hwy. doing it all in three to four days.


        • #5
          I know a of a couple folks that started from Donnely area and hiked all the way to the head waters of the Yanert and floated to the Parks Highway. Their story is listed in the Alaska section on the Alpacka raft forum. Might help ya out I think she also has own website to contact her she might have a few pointers on the trip. Good luck on your trek and take lots of pics.


          • #6
            Thanks 'Lanche

            Thank you sir, i will definitely check that out. I browsed over there a bit, but didn't specifically find that one!



            • #7
              i waded the delta

              just downstream of black rapids.....coming back across to the road....had a heavy pack and me in the raft first try....river just wanted to suck me down past where i wanted to was all rippled from rocks i hopped off and tied the raft to me and waded across...i think it got knee deep for a minute or two....a little spooky but i was still pretty pumped from my first successful sheep hunt....could have been walking on top of the water for that matter.....i would cross the river again there where it was braided...i tried to get across right in front of black rapids once with the same raft and only one canoe paddle...that was a bad idea, unless you like spinning in circles going up and down three or four feet at a high rate of speed....
              "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"


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