Apr 24, 2008 at 6:52 am #1228572
I am really bummed … was going to go to Alaska for 10 days starting May 1st … weather is going to be just too bad (basically snow, rain and mud for the entire time) and the rangers discouraged me to make it. Could it be done? Sure. Would it be a lot of fun? Not top sure about it. Well, the trip is off for now with all the cancellations that go along with that. Sigh.Apr 24, 2008 at 10:18 am #1429973
@crwoodLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
Sorry to hear that you cancelled your trip. The snowpack was a lot thinner a month ago and looked like break-up was here…but then winter hit again along with cold weather and lots of snow. The last 5 days here in Anchorage have been in the 50's and a lot of the snow is melted off again. The front range of the Chugach is still very snowy, and all the trails low down will be a soupy mess. We are still skiing on all of the trails in the front range. I imagine it is still very snowy in Denali Park. The ground gets very muddy bacause the ground just beneath the surface is frozen for several feet of depth and the snow melt saturates the top couple of inches of soil making a muddy, soupy mess until Early June. We aren't allowed to mountain bike on most developed trails until June 1 so as not to damage them until the ground is fully thawed and the surface dried out.
If I were to schedule another trip I would do so around Mid-June. Bugs are not too bad then, still some snow up high to play on and the "pushki", fireweed, and grasses aren't super tall yet in the high country. Better visibility to see the bears, and easier walking off-trail.
PM me if you are planning another trip and I will try and help you out. Also, the BPL member "Eric Parsons" is one heck of an adventurer and has logged many more miles than me in more areas of the state. Also, if you PM Roman Dial he could probably help you out with planning, weather conditions, etc..
Again, sorry to hear about the trip cancellation and hope you get up here sometime soon.
CWApr 24, 2008 at 10:42 am #1429977
Thanks so much! What do you think about mid-October? We are considering that month for several logistical reasons …
SvenApr 24, 2008 at 11:25 am #1429993
@crwoodLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
October could be a lot of fun. The leaves would all be gone from the trees and the rivers should all be small, clear trickles (maybe even partially frozen over) by then. NO bugs, and the vegetation will probably all be frozen and down. Weather could vary dramatically depending on which geographic location you intended on, and whether you intent on going to the alpine, or stick to the valleys. If you are going to Denali, you should count on snow and near-zero (Farenheit) temps at night. Here in the Chugach, or Kenai Mtns it could be mild, ie mid-20's at night, some rain, some snow. However, it could be downright nasty that time of year here in South-Central.
Personally, that time of year I would choose some closer-to-civilization (Anchorage) overnighters or extended weekend type trips in the Chugach or Kenai range. There are more established trails and routes, and you can always bail out if the weather decides to get real bad. Not an option if you are several days back in Denali and it decides to snow several feet and drop to sub-zero temps. And then it could stay that way ALL year.
October is probably the most HIGHLY variable weather month up here, so you would need to be prepared for the worst. This is not meant to discourage you from your game plan, but to provide my (possibly subjective and mostly accurate ;-)) opinion on what to expect that time of year. I really should get back to work now!
-CWApr 25, 2008 at 8:38 pm #1430242
Pictures of the Tek River flood at Denali & road clearing:
Plus they've gotten a new foot of snow.
Speaking of new foot of snow, we got a foot today & it's still coming down in the Anchorage bowl region!
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