Lost Coast Bike / raft

Dylan and I are going to try to go from Yakutat to Cordova on fat tire bikes and packrafts.
Erin and Hig inspired…
We leave on Monday and will have a few sat phone updates here if all goes well:

awesome choice!

wow, thank you for providing ever more support for me to quit my job.
Looking forward to updates.

fun was had…

Fun? Hmmm… :laughing:

I look forward to the film!

Great trip, man! :mrgreen: That’s the Hubbard Glacier in that first shot, right? (It looks familiar… I was there for awhile myself.)

I’m just curious… how many days were you guys out?

  • Mike

yep, that’s the Hubbard alright. the Gap is just beyond looker’s right in that photo, past the small black chunk of land sticking out. Osier Island, which the Gazetteer shows as freestanding in the middle of the Gap, is covered entirely by ice and cannot be seen.

we were out 18 days.


yeah The Dylan got a good view of it, he would know.

yep, that’s the Hubbard alright. the Gap is just beyond looker’s right in that photo, past the small black chunk of land sticking out. Osier Island, which the Gazetteer shows as freestanding in the middle of the Gap, is covered entirely by ice and cannot be seen.

Yeah, I know… it’s quite a sight!

Osier “Island,” from Gilbert Point:

I was out 16 days when I went, although I didn’t cover quite the mileage you guys did and stayed mostly in Russel Fjord (other side of the “Gap”). It was a pretty great trip though… I got to camp two nights here just enjoying the show:

(Being solo, I really couldn’t get any shots of myself while packrafting, but this kinda has to do… landing about a mile from Gilbert Point at low tide)

Our paths didn’t cross paths (so to speak), but your report still brings back a few memories! Thanks for posting it,

  • Mike

Great shots!
we camped up in at the far corner of that beach in the shot with your tent.
What was your route? where did you all go?
Its awesome back there.

My trip wasn’t as ambitious as your guys’… being solo, that was probably a good thing.

Anyhoo, I stayed mostly in Russell Fjord. I hitched out of Yakutat, walked up to Situk Lake

and then up to Mountain Lake,

where I 'shwacked over the pass down to Russell Fjord. I spent the next 9 days in the fjord and didn’t see another soul until day 13, which was kinda cool.

(Camping on the tidal flats near Marble Point.)

(My retarded self at high tide, 3:30 in the morning.)

I’d intended to round the Hubbard Gap and head south down the shores back to Yakutat, but the glacier had advanced so close (within a hundred yards… it took only 12 seconds for a wave from a glacier calve to hit the opposite rocks) that I chickened out, and headed back the way I came down the Fjord. The tidal currents were pretty fierce through there. Erin & Hig went through there a few months later, and (thankfully) the glacier had retreated a bit. They had a lot more breathing room to get through the gap at the Hubbard Glacier.

After that I headed back to Situk Lake and floated a couple days down the Situk River from source to sea.

Black bear on the Situk:

I walked a couple more days along the coast back to Yakutat by day 16.

All said, mine was ~125-150 miles (give or take). A leisurely pace, but I enjoyed it. :mrgreen:

  • Mike


Something like this is definitely on the list for the middle-future. Amazing stuff.

Totally classic shot of the tent in the water!

What an awesome solo trip you had.

We were terrified of Hubbard gap too, so we tried bushwacking around it but ended up broken & shattered after a day and a half with the bikes, we dropped down a talus gully that thankfully didnt cliff out and then we ran it with serious nerves. It calved twice and the swells were enormous in the gap, add to that reflection waves from the cliff and moving ice it was simply terrifying. never again. We hung out for a few hours on the island around the corner and de-compressed before moving to Mancas point.


Very cool. I remember you guys naming that “Terror Gap”… a fitting moniker. I sat for two days at Gilbert Point, watching the Glacier calve in the channel through a pair of 8x21 binoculars. And you’re right… those swells are friggin’ huge. I recall in my journal estimating some of the bigger ones being at least 8’ as they crashed against the cliffs… and bigger further out in the channel. I might have sucked it up and made a mad dash anyway (maybe) if I hadn’t been alone. But with no one else around and a family back home, I opted to just sit back & enjoy it from camp. I can’t say I regret that. Those swells tossed icebergs around like pinballs.

You guys put a lot more mileage under your tires than I did (I didn’t have a bike… neat idea, btw!). I didn’t know about your trip until after it was over, but it’s a cool report to read. I spent time on a previous trip exploring the woods & glaciers around Cordova the year before, so it’s kinda cool to see you guys (and Erin & Hig, for that matter) “connect the dots.”

Do either of y’all have more big plans in the near future? When I’m not in the backwoods myself, I enjoy living vicariously. :smiley: In the meantime, have a good one,

  • Mike

Hey Thanks - 8’ huh? I have no idea, but they were huge and scary in the boats, just praying that they wouldent start braking on us.
Here are some more photos:
Schwack “camp” - the leatherman saw came in very handy!

Our bushwack exit gully, pretty nasty:


Things were looking good - nice and calm, but right after I took this photo it calved and that was the end of the photo taking for a while. about 30 seconds later we were riding the big ones scared shitless.

Down time on the island… then this thing shows up. You can imagine what we were thinking…

Man, I’m jealous.

If you waited 30 seconds for the waves to hit you, you definitely had a lot more breathing room in there than I was looking at the year before. At the time, I clocked it at 12 seconds from the time the glacier calved to when the waves crashed against the cliffs. The pictures you took look like you had a lot more room too. Good!

I love the bushwhack camp! :smiley: I considered trying to ‘schwack over the ridgeline as well, but thought better of it from the looks of 3000’ of alder thickets and nasty gullies on those hillsides. I’m glad you guys made it through there (at least part of the way) okay!

Kudos to you guys… you timed it well. I guess I just picked a bad summer to try and get through there! Maybe another year. Have a good one,

  • Mike

Hey Thanks Mike!
wow 12 seconds, that’s crazy. We did have a good ammount of room, but the glacier was still towering above us. The schwack camp was hilarous, we actually slept great in the reclined position (it was like a 30 degree slope) and cutting down the Alders was key.
We Estimated it would be a 3 day solid bushwack with bikes, and probabally still 2 without.