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Published: November 6th 2009
After the float plane left we tried to paddle to the head of Lituya Bay. I learned this: never try to paddle into an outburst flood. Seems ridiculous that we even tried, but it was easy, for a while. The tide was with us and the wind at our back, we made good progress. Then we hit a wall of small icebergs where the outburst flood waters met the incoming tide. We got through them into a semi-open water but the wind, tide and currents were no longer in our favor. Eventually Nate tactfully pointed out that we were paddling a lot and not moving forward... So our plans changed. We decided to stay the night on Cenotaph Island and hike the loop in reverse.
Next morning the weather had changed and we spent the day in fog and rain. Not a heavy rain but the kind of on-then-off outer coast drizzle that can go all day. We headed south from Lituya along the coast. For a while we stayed in the trees because of the tightly packed big boulders on the beach In the woods the vegetation was wet and the over hanging branches on the narrow bear trails
soaked us more throughly than we would have been in the open. Eventually the boulder beach ended and we hiked on open sand, pebbles and bedrock beaches. Occasionally small streams caused us to stop and cross in our lightweight waders. We spent the night camped on the beach next to a stream then continued south the next day. We saw plenty of bear tracks but only two bears in two days. One walked along the beach towards us as we sat finishing up our evening meal on the beach. That night we walked into the woods and camped under the spruce trees. The next day we headed inland.
So much stuff on these trips... pack rafts and paddles for the bay and lake crossings, waders to ford the streams, crampons and trekking poles for the glacier traverse! And the tent, cook gear, sleeping bag, rain gear, warm clothing and oh yea, food for a week, in a bear can. We'd weighed our packs before we left. About 45 to 50 lbs, dry. I'd made lots of 'buttery goodness'
for the trip - a mixture of butter, oats and brown sugar with lots of added nuts, dried blueberries and dried cherries.
Better than any energy bar I'd ever purchased. Inspired by the 'Ground Truth Trekkers' who had come along this very coast on their epic hike in 2007.
Tot: 0.035s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 9; qc: 18; dbt: 0.0057s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb