Weather Solution: Packrafting

Looking at the forecast can be disheartening.  The full column of raining clouds just seems to put a damper on energy.  It is not so much that it changes the workout as much as it changes the enjoyment. Being an elite athlete means that I will be working out rain or shine, hail or hurricane but running in the mountains around Anchorage is so much more fun when it is beautiful and sunny and hypothermia is not a concern.  August has not been a great month for the enjoyment factor.  Thus it is essential to find adventures where weather doesn’t matter. And no, I am not talking about marathon Skierg sessions in my garage, or treadmill time. I am an outdoorsy guy, so that means packrafting. Suit up in lots of layers, a dry suit, and viola: weatherproof.  Camping in the rain just adds to the fun (multiple types).

The last three weekends were dedicated to this activity. Weekdays require normal training, but my resolve to remain faithful to my training plan weakens as the weekend approaches.  The day after getting off the glacier: prime packrafting opportunity. Racing in the morning the next weekend equals a good chance for an overnight packraft. And finally this weekend’s plans for a tall peak derailed by low visibility meant it was time for another.  So without further ado: Willow creek, sheep creak done cheep, and Curry to clear creek in pictures.  Actually, there aren’t any pictures from willow as we had some dead phone batteries, but the others worked out alright

First up for trips is Sheep Creek done cheap. We measured it around 44 miles with 20 miles of packrafting, 5 miles on a sweet alpine ridge, about 2 miles of bushwhacking and 17 miles of ATV trails. 

We lost the ATV trail. Time for some of Neil’s favorite activities: a good alder shwack!
Managed to find 14 miles of this.  Actually this was one of the driest parts.
Gaining elevation.


Finally into the alpine with alright weather.
sheep creek
Boatin on some flat section. Photo: Neil Liotta


Curry to clear creek is a unique trip due to the whistle stop train from Talkeetna to Curry.  However, the trip also has quite a lot of bushwhacking and was very wet and foggy during out time there.

Waiting for the train. Photo: Cole Deal
That is the very south end of Kesugi Ridge across the Susitna. Photo: Brady Deal
Watching Caribou from our high point. Photo: Brady Deal.
Camping in the wilderness. Now who put this stupid powerline out here…. Photo: Cole Deal.
A brief reprieve from some bush. Day 1.  Photo: Cole Deal.
Bush and fog. Day 2. Photo: Cole Deal
Boatin: Photo: Neil Liotta

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