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Re: Alaska or Bust!

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Alaska or Bust!
January 29, 2012 05:37PM
Well after almost 17 years of living in Chicago I will be relocating to Anchorage at the end of next month.

Unfortunately, this will mean less trips and hiking in Yosemite for a little while (although I am still counting on the Mt. Whitney hike with my father this summer). But don't feel too sorry for me, the little I know of the hiking available in Alaska is amazing.

Is this the right page for Alaska hiking? ;-)
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 29, 2012 09:36PM
There are some beautiful national parks in Alaska you can visit if you get the chance. One of my friends used to live in Anchorage; shouldn't be too bad smiling smiley
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 29, 2012 10:30PM
Alaska is amazing country. Enjoy!

(But be ready for enormous clouds of mosquitos during the spring and early summer months)
Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 30, 2012 10:59AM
I've visited Alaska in the summer once a couple summers ago and hit a couple of those awesome National Parks. I can't wait to explore more! Sitting directly next to Anchorage is a State Park with an amazing trail system. I'm hoping for a network of hikers or a forum that is a minimal fraction as helpful as everyone here to learn the ropes there!
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 30, 2012 01:16PM
I've done 3 backcountry trips there, one hiking (Katmai), two sea kayaking (Glacier Bay and Prince William Sound). All three were great, Glacier Bay was particularly incredible.

I took my avatar photo in Katmai's 'frontcountry'.
Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 30, 2012 02:43PM
I'm particularly interested in your Katmai hiking trips. Were they connected to a tour? I'm trying to figure out how much stuff I'll be able to do with my own, how much requires "guides", and how expensive it will all be--even for someone living in Alaska. I know it will be much easier to figure this all out after I am there and talking to locals.
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 30, 2012 04:28PM
I just did one trip there, camped at the Brooks Camp campground, then backpacked in Valley of 10000 Smokes, then camped in the campground some more. Did it myself, no guide, no tour.

1) If you want to stay in the campground during the prime times, expect to call on the minute as soon as reservations open. Expect to be on hold a long time (not sure if they moved this to the internet, this was in 2002). After I got the campsite reservation I made all other arrangements (bus to the valley, travel to Brooks Camp, etc.). If you want to stay in a cabin, I understand that's quite expensive and requires much earlier reservations.
2) I decided to take the boat to Brooks Camp instead of a flight, YMMV. In any case, pretty much every step of the transportation question has to be questioned, make no assumptions. Flight lands in King Salmon. Am I leaving straight from there, or from somewhere else, and if somewhere else how am I getting there? I remember people w/ flights (King Salmon to/from Brooks Camp) earlier in the morning seemed to have some fog-delay, versus later in the day. Again, YMMV.
3) Brooks Camp Lodge gets kegs of Alaskan Amber flown in, so necessities will be taken care of in the frontcountry.

When you get to Brooks Camp there's a 20 minute or so bear orientation.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2012 04:29PM by ttilley.
Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 31, 2012 12:50PM
Quote
ttilley
I just did one trip there, camped at the Brooks Camp campground, then backpacked in Valley of 10000 Smokes, then camped in the campground some more. Did it myself, no guide, no tour.

1) If you want to stay in the campground during the prime times, expect to call on the minute as soon as reservations open. Expect to be on hold a long time (not sure if they moved this to the internet, this was in 2002). After I got the campsite reservation I made all other arrangements (bus to the valley, travel to Brooks Camp, etc.). If you want to stay in a cabin, I understand that's quite expensive and requires much earlier reservations.
2) I decided to take the boat to Brooks Camp instead of a flight, YMMV. In any case, pretty much every step of the transportation question has to be questioned, make no assumptions. Flight lands in King Salmon. Am I leaving straight from there, or from somewhere else, and if somewhere else how am I getting there? I remember people w/ flights (King Salmon to/from Brooks Camp) earlier in the morning seemed to have some fog-delay, versus later in the day. Again, YMMV.
3) Brooks Camp Lodge gets kegs of Alaskan Amber flown in, so necessities will be taken care of in the frontcountry.

When you get to Brooks Camp there's a 20 minute or so bear orientation.

This is great info by the way. I'm going to get there and do some research on my own before I ask more questions. This is all new to me.

I even have to learn to fish! My family loves salmon but previously it usually came from Costco. I can wait to bring home the "bacon" myself!
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 31, 2012 07:07PM
If memory serves...at least at the time, there was a bush plane possibility from Anchorage straight to Brooks Camp. It didn't make any sense for me, I had a free ticket from airline points on which I could go to King Salmon, so I didn't follow up. But in your new abode it'd certainly be something to investigate.

When I landed at King Salmon, from inside the airport I saw that most of the people standing outside were wearing mosquito headnets. Which were available for purchase at the airport. So I bought one before walking outside. It was needed.

By the way, there were plenty of people fishing in the front country (Brooks River). As I recall from my 'bear orientation', the only major rule is that you need to have a knife to cut your line if a bear approaches.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2012 07:10PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 30, 2012 02:54PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Unfortunately, this will mean less trips and hiking in Yosemite for a little while

And do remember the bears in Alaska aren't to be treated as you would a Yosemite bear.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2012 02:54PM by eeek.
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 30, 2012 05:54PM
Awesome. Best of luck!

(and feel free to provide guided trips up there)

smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 30, 2012 07:57PM
I'd love to give the Pink Chicken a guided tour of somewhere in Alaska. Give me a summer to learn the ropes! (And as Eeek noted, let's bring some Bear Spray!)

And maybe I'll join you to finish Tenaya Canyon one day. And make it down Pywiack without ropes!
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 30, 2012 08:01PM
Quote
chicagocwright
(And as Eeek noted, let's bring some Bear Spray!)

http://www.ske-art.com/stuff/index.php?searchmode=SportingGoods&ss=bear+spray&search=Go
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 31, 2012 07:22AM
I would love it. (both taking u down Tenaya and Alaska)

If one of those bad boys came a charging... I'd probably squeal like a little girl, soil myself, and become catatonic.
Or the other scenario is squeal like a little girl, soil myself, and end up pepper spraying myself.
(this was the main reasoning behind when we visited Glacier NP I refused to buy bear spray)
(there was just no way in heck it would be any use for me)
(and talking to a resident along the trail he pretty much concurred... said that he never had to use the spray)
Of course... YMMV... as we all know... people have been taken down by Ursa Killus Horribilusly



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 31, 2012 07:57AM
About a year ago I had a argument with a group of guys (city dwellers) regarding which tool is more useful against a charging bear: bear spray vs. large caliber handgun. (It was part of my discussion about my pending Clouds Rest/Half Dome hike and they were convinced that as a solo hiker I was going to be eaten by a bear. In the end, I had to tell them both spray and handguns are illegal in Yosemite!)

I was firmly on the side of the spray but they wouldn't believe me. So I did some online research and I even called the NRA and spoke to them about the issue. To my debaters surprise, even the NRA backs the use of spray instead of handguns for bears. The point was made that even skilled marksmen will find it difficult to properly aim and KILL a charging bear---most will find themselves with an injured and very angry bear. On the other hand, spray is more effective at actually getting the bear to go away.
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 31, 2012 07:59AM
No argument here. I'd Plaxico Burress myself if a "real" bear charged.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 31, 2012 07:58AM
And by the way, I am serious about the Tenaya hike. Last year's experience was awesome. But I have to finish that canyon some day!
avatar Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 31, 2012 08:00AM
Next October. Just gingle.

And post some photos here of your Alaska adventures please.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Alaska or Bust!
January 31, 2012 08:02AM
Not this year. This year I've only got one trip for the Lower 48. And that is a Mt. Whitney hike and hopefully summit with my father. I can't postpone that!
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