Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pack-Ice (P&P)

Josh is the one responsible for my packrafting in so much as he said, "We need to get packrafts!" so I did. He read my posts with the jealousy of a cancer eating away at him. That stopped Saturday because his raft arrived and we busted out the Super Hero Adventure. Before the adventure was to end, I raged the ice like the Hulk in my green drysuit! Truth be told I am more Shrek than Hulk but I love ice so lets settle on "Yukon Cornelius". He has a Facebook page your know! Yukon-Cornelius

We ride about 7 miles north to the local "pump-n-go". That's a boat launch for us inflatable boat geeks or a disgusting trash strung shoreline to you landlubbers.

Josh and I pump the tanks full and try our best at a dry foot launch but fail and my boots are now coated in river mud.

I'm having a problem keeping my lens dry so I'm sorry about the pictures but I have a plan to fix that soon.

Any weather will do if you have the gear and the drive to go walk-about. We didn't even think about the weather. To us, the outdoors is never closed.

The last bike I needed to try mounting was the mountain bike. It's sized between the Fat Bike and the Cross bike but I thought it fit the worst.

An unfavorable wind was strong and the rafts are not very aero so our shoulders take a punishing.  We cut into a channel to hide and explore the fiord. It was on the plan but the remaining downriver trail is now off the table. This is the first time having the bike with did more then simplify the set up. Normally we have to stage the bikes at the take out and then drive back to the launch. We can now bug out anyplace and jump in at will.

I've seen these sunken barges for a few year but I'm told they have been here a long time. I'll have to go back for a better look. Pack-Scuba!

We enter the backwaters and I see this well defined beaver slide. It's one of about 4 I see. 

Soon after the passage we enter a wide shallow lake. It looks calm. We are out of the wind but now into the ice. We paddle into it for a few minutes before we are stopped by ever thickening ice that could break our paddles and maybe slash our boats if abraded enough.

That ice is about 3/4 of an inch. I get out on it and walk but the cracks explode in spider webs around me.
About this time you may realize I don't have a bike framed in the picture. That's because I'm walking. I'm busting ice with my hands like a Hulk smashing cars. I cut a channel and then tow Josh and my raft up the channel. More ice, more tow.... About 200 yards in total.

If we are going to get to the other side I need to get in and swim. I have the drysuit and I've tested it so I know I can trust it if I don't puncture it on ice. I test the depth and it's chest deep. I get thin wet boots from Josh and dive in. Crush ice for 40 minutes and it's a blast. Yes, it's cold. Hands and feet are getting punished but my suit and thermal wear keep my core warm and dry. I have a lot of experience playing on and near ice but please don't assume you can. I've got years of experience and training that keeps me relatively safe and that's not B.S

We have no idea where we are. I think it's mainland and Josh thinks it's an island. We hike to the far shore to find open water and then double back to move the boats. We believe it's an island now. I being wet take the ice road while Josh takes land. I used the ice because my suits Achilles heal is thorns and the island is covered in pointed sticks, splinters, buck thorn, and the like so I play it safe.

After we make the crossing I get busy and don't take exit photos but we use the route I found for sad old car.

This rail blocks the trail and on that end this post is done.

1 comment:

  1. Great post ! the video was awesome, I guess you didn't edit that one part LOL