On June 1st my friend Galen and I flew out of Homer with Jose De Creeft of Northwind Aviation. Jose is a great pilot and all around nice guy. We flew to the Big River mouth in Katmai National Park.
We hiked up Big River and crossed over a pass into the headwaters of the east fork (unnamed on map) of the Kamishak River. We packrafted this down to the main fork of the Kamishak and out to the coast. We portaged some sections of Class 3+ water.
From Akumwarvik Bay we walked the coast back to Swikshak River. We used pack rafts to cross the main fork of the Douglas River and the river coming out of Four Peaked Glacier Lake.
We did paddle the rafts on the ocean some but it was slow going compared to walking. The walking was a combination of easy storm beach, tidal flats, upland bear trails, and beach stumble f-ing. Most of the walking worked best at low tide.
We got picked up on June 12 at Swikshak Lagoon.
On other years the snow going over the pass and the upper Kami would be less deep than we experienced. Besides the standard expedition gear we used an electric fence as precaution for bears. Rough total mileage was around 120+?
We went pretty light but not ultra light. At the beginning of the trip both our packs were under 55lbs total; including PFD, raft, paddle, fence (energizer, fence, and batteries) food, fuel, Ursacks, stove, tent, ect. ect….
This was a great trip; amazing wilderness, interesting coastline, and lots of bear viewing. This was a good time of the season for this trip because the trees were not completely leafed out, which made the shwacking easier. We had amazing weather for the most part and the mosquitoes weren’t too bad.
Pictures to follow.
The Alaska Peninsula, Bristol Bay, the lower Yukon and Kuskokwim drainages
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