Dec 31, 2020 at 9:48 pm #3691641Luke SchmidtBPL Member
Hiking with a young teen can be amusing. After I proudly pointed out the historic mining buildings of Kennicott Corey announced that they looked “creepy” and “haunted.” He had no interest in exploring them so it was just as well that the place was mostly closed down due to Covid 19.
Soon after hitting the trail Corey located an impressive bear scat, almost certainly a grizzly. Corey had a hunting license but no gun so he joked about beating a bear down with his trekking poles. I suggested that doing this would ensure he never got bullied at school.
The Kennecott Glacier (on the left) is massive but mostly covered in gravel. The Root Glacier is bare ice so its more scenic and (for a glacier) fairly safe. I was a bit nervous taking a kid on it but Corey had listened well when shooting and bear hunting so on we went.
The glacier was mostly rough but we used micro spikes just in case. There are a few spots where the sun melts the ice, it re-freezes and gets slicker.
As much as I love the wilderness it can be a bit stressful when I’m responsible for another person’s safety. In this case the problem was that the end of the glacier broke off into a sheer cliff. The apparent trail was inaccessible. I searched for a new route. Not a big deal but I could tell Corey was getting cold an anxious to get off the ice. I tried to slow him down before he made a mistake. Eventually we backtracked up the glacier and found a way through the gravel cliffs to the ridge top.
At the top we found an established campsite and a bear box. Corey figured out how to start a fire without matches using my fire stick. This picture was taken at more or less midnight. Not very dark at that time of year.
For the trip we used an old Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 that I borrowed from my parents. I may be getting soft but a real tent has some advantages over a tarp. Then again our “night” of sleep was more like a nice nap considering that we stayed up late and got up early.
The next morning we found an easier way down the gravel from the campsite.
In McCarthy we celebrated by eating at The Potato, a popular restaurant.
Here is a video I threw together, hopefully the link works.
I went home grateful that in spite of all the craziness of 2020 I was able to spend time with people I cared about. For me the wilderness is less important then the people I share it with.Jan 1, 2021 at 8:51 am #3691667Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Awesome! I have a 14 year old and a 10 year old. The 14 year old has expressed no interest in backpacking, but the 10 year old want’s to do a trip with me out west, so perhaps I need to plan something for us.
I did a 14 day trip in Wrangell St. Elias in 2017 and it was an awesome place – and yes the Potato was an awesome place to eat after a hike!Jan 1, 2021 at 3:47 pm #3691719Luke SchmidtBPL Member
Brad I’ve found kids like exploring but they need entertainment in camp, this is why I’m a fan of campfires and marshmallows.
Yellowstone might be a good kid destination. Seeing all the animals is fun.
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