BWCA BeaV's Alaskan video - Part 9 - The Tundra Portage Boundary Waters Group Forum: BeaV's Trip to Alaska
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      BeaV's Alaskan video - Part 9 - The Tundra Portage     

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OneMatch
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12/14/2014 09:09AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
52:30 on this one. He has gone up the Chandalar as far as possible and now takes a left across the tundra to the Koyukuk River where he left his cabin 25 years ago. More breathtaking adventure.

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Tundr@

getting ready to post 10 and 11. Again BIG, HUGE thanks to CanoeKev who is tirelessly using his software to convert these videos to mp4s and sending them to me to post.

Paddle To, Through and Around Alaska - Part 9 - The Tundra Portage
 
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hobbydog
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12/14/2014 10:06AM  
There are not enough adjectives to describe this episode. At least with the Chilkoot Pass you could see what lay ahead. Here you only know that as hard as it is it will only get harder.
 
CanoeKev
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12/14/2014 01:15PM  
Watching this episode really was really an eye opener. A few aspects really stood out for me.

First, anyone who has ever tried to walk even a hundred yards through that type of tundra and black spruce forest can hardly begin to appreciate the task it was for BeaV to triple portage MILES through that stuff! Every exhausting step can be fraught with peril -- unseen potholes can result in broken legs or ankles, especially when tired and weighted down. I watched it while on a stationary bike, and it struck me that no matter how hard I peddled, I couldn't ever approach the level of exertion that it took to portage that tundra.

Second, the bugs were INSANE! I was wearing headphones and I swear I felt like I had to swat bugs from my hair and ears!

Third, as BeaV pointed out, a GPS failure could be catastrophic when trying to locate an equipment drop in that faceless landscape. If not careful, one could spend hours or even days looking for your stuff if you had no landmarks to go by.

Go BeaV!

 
Dennisal
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12/14/2014 05:01PM  
BeaV, you are one tough cookie. And so is that canoe going over those rocks.
 
12/14/2014 07:35PM  
quote Dennisal: "BeaV, you are one tough cookie. And so is that canoe going over those rocks."
It must be the expedition layup for sure ;).

 
Savage Voyageur
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12/16/2014 07:31PM  
quote boonie: "quote Dennisal: "BeaV, you are one tough cookie. And so is that canoe going over those rocks."
It must be the expedition layup for sure ;). "

I can't belive that rudder is still on that canoe. It must have been smacked a thousand times. I can't imagine walking through that crap.

Thanks again guys.
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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12/16/2014 09:20PM  

Another amazing segment of the trip. I hurt just watching this. The creek was tough (on you and that canoe) but the bush whack through the spruce taiga seemed tougher yet. So many things could have went badly in the bush....... like separation from your gear. The sight of the Koyukuk River must have been pure relief.
 
ozarkpaddler
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12/17/2014 12:19AM  
After my computer struggling with the videos, I downloaded Mozilla Firefox and it's working better.
Speaking of "Struggling," I'm more amazed with every video!
 
12/17/2014 01:52AM  
Love the timing when you kick the sea kayak to the entrance of "Godsmack" -- "I-- STAND ALONE".
 
12/17/2014 02:36AM  
Though you didn't rely on the GPS for your navigation-- how did it do as far as estimated position error on you marking "drops" with gear etc.-- if you even needed it???

What kinda of overall GPS coverage/accuracy did you get in AK compared to MN?? The selling point of GPS's is that it shouldn't matter-- but an avg joe knows that the closer you get to the poles of a sphere like object-- the less likely you will have a satellite overhead compared to the equatorial regions-- especially the speed for a said satellite to be traveling overhead in near the poles-- which must be really moving-- which I would think would throw off the accuracy compared to areas closer to the equator.

FWIW--- it's partly the Coriolis effect that gives weather forecasts in AK and other Polar regions such a hard time. The spinning/twisting is simply hard to model when nearly all models I know are based on lesser spinning/twisting closer to the equator where more people live. This also MAY have an impact on GPS signal when one thinks about it in the polar regions-- but that is just a hunch.
 
12/19/2014 09:48PM  
quote HighPlainsDrifter: "So many things could have went badly in the bush....... like separation from your gear. The sight of the Koyukuk River must have been pure relief. "
The two biggest concerns were serious injury such as a broken leg or impenetrable tundra that could stop my progress. Early on in the portage I knew there was to be no possibility of turning back. I could really only go forward and if anything delayed my progress, I was prepared to leave all my gear behind except the canoe.

Finding the Koyukuk was a huge relief, especially cuz I could see there was enough flow to canoe in. The last thing I needed was to find the Koyukuk dry or another boulder field. I still feel relieved!
 
12/19/2014 10:03PM  
quote WhiteWolf: "Though you didn't rely on the GPS for your navigation-- how did it do as far as estimated position error on you marking "drops" with gear etc.-- if you even needed it??? "

It seemed really accurate on finding my drops. I did use it many times per day. I leap-frogged my gear 3 times per day. First leap in the morning I'd travel about a mile, then go back and forth twice more, then repeat another 1/2 mile leap twice more. This meant finding my drops 12 times per day. As I approached an area where I thought my drop should be but I couldn't see it, I didn't waste energy looking around. I just turned on the gps to verify how far and what direction. Always worked well.
 
12/20/2014 01:44AM  
This is the best canoe trip video ever. I take that back. Best wilderness trip video ever. beav, I really thought that this trip would kill you. I am so glad I was wrong. M
 
MacCamper
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12/23/2014 10:01AM  
Your honesty causes me great frustration followed by joy as I 'trip' along with you BeaV. Gritted teeth, clenched muscles and a broad grin as your concurred your second 9th leg. How did your Hippies hold up? Considering the abuse, surely they gave out at some point in time.
Thanks again for a great feature film.
Mac
 
12/23/2014 01:30PM  
quote jwartman59: "beav, I really thought that this trip would kill you. I am so glad I was wrong."
Me too!
 
mjmkjun
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12/23/2014 01:31PM  
sound track @ 41:16-->Good Job! Excellent choice/timing.

forward with viewing but don't want episodes to end.

 
12/23/2014 01:33PM  
quote MacCamper: "How did your Hippies hold up? Considering the abuse, surely they gave out at some point in time."
Still in good shape except maybe a pinhole or two. 2 thumbs up from me.
 
01/05/2015 04:58PM  
I'm watching is disbelief as you crossed that section of tundra. The bugs alone would have driven most normal people to go crazy. Godsmack's I stand alone was a pretty fitting song for the video, about as alone as your going to get on this planet.
 
01/05/2015 05:17PM  
quote DeanL: "I'm watching is disbelief as you crossed that section of tundra. The bugs alone would have driven most normal people to go crazy. Godsmack's I stand alone was a pretty fitting song for the video, about as alone as your going to get on this planet. "

Yeah, I doubt I would have the fortitude to do this portage. Also wonder why you didn't bring high vis ribbon to mark your trail BeaV. The gps is good but I think having something concrete like ribbon would give peace of mind.

This trip is mindblowing to me.

 
01/08/2015 08:36AM  
quote TomT:Also wonder why you didn't bring high vis ribbon to mark your trail BeaV."
Marking a back trail in such a way is something a Chechako would do. A skilled woodsman, on the other hand, has no need for such a demeaning method of keeping a trail. You wouldn't believe how much "new country" I've seen while trying to be "skilled" :)
 
hobbydog
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01/08/2015 10:57AM  
quote BeaV: "quote TomT:Also wonder why you didn't bring high vis ribbon to mark your trail BeaV."
Marking a back trail in such a way is something a Chechako would do. A skilled woodsman, on the other hand, has no need for such a demeaning method of keeping a trail. You wouldn't believe how much "new country" I've seen while trying to be "skilled" :)"


I had to look that one up. :-)


Urban Dictionary
cheechako. A new-comer to Alaska, ignorant of the terrain, the weather, the animals, the culture, the necessary driving skills in the winter, etc.
 
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