Rafting the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers (Day 3) 13/25-Aug-2018

Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska

On Day 3, we laid-over at Sediments Creek to provide a long dayhike to those interested in doing such a thing; but lounging around camp was also a popular option. The hike (also called the Sobeck Hike after the rafting company that pioneered it) climbs 950 m (3,100 ft) in 5.4 km (3.4 mi) to alpine habitat on Goat Ridge west of the Tatshenshini.  It started with a stroll up the creek cobble and then along a good use trail through a bit of forest, followed by a stiff climb to the “short hike destination” about 200 m above the river.  From there, it was more forest along a ridge, then up a slope covered in short (but bear-hiding) vegetation to an open, rocky area. After a break there, we traversed an open screen slope, then finished with a steep climb (and a tiny bit of scrambling) up to Goat Ridge.  Once up, we wandered across the short alpine vegetation to an overlook of Sediments Creek where it was hoped we’d see mountain goats (this being Goat Ridge and all).  Claims that white dots moving on a far distant ridge were, in fact, mountain goats, were viewed with just a little skepticism. It took some mental gymnastics to come to grips with that fact that we were the only people for as far as the eye could see in any direction from the ridge – millions of hectares of raw wilderness. A little overawed, we headed back. Back in camp, we welcomed drinks, dinner, and talk, followed (soon) by sleep in our fluffy, comfortable sleeping bags (Bags of Decadence).

The weather fully cooperated (it wouldn’t always be so obliging) to make this challenging hike one of the absolute highlights of the whole trip! It gave us a good work-out (no float & bloat here) along with amazing views north and south along the Tatshenshini River Valley, across to Carmine Mountain, and down into the upper Sediments Creek drainage. We saw one black bear for sure and, if dots are goats, then mountain goats too.

Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Morning at Sediments Creek
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
The morning light illuminates our hiking destination
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
A field of Old Man’s Beard in the early light
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Must…put…on…boots…
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Packing our lunches
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Up along the creek cobble
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Through the forest
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
And up the slope
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
View upriver from the short hike destination
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Still smiling with 750 m of climbing ahead
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Back into the forest along the ridge
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
View north from the ridge
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Through fireweed toward the rocky, open slope; our goal is the notch (arrow)
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Taking a break on the open, rocky slope (arrow points to our camp)
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Traversing the upper scree slope
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Traversing the upper scree slope
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Up toward the notch in the ridge
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
A little bit of scrambling on slippery rock
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Near the top of the notch
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Topping out on Goat Ridge
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
The view north from Goat Ridge
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Looking into the braided upper drainage of Sediments Creek
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Returning across Goat Ridge
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Back down the notch (arrow points to our camp)
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
And down the scree slope, with a view to the south…
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
The afternoon view north from the rocky, open space
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Glad to let Brian walk point through the bear patch
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Down the first steep slope
Tatshenshini River Alsek River Yukon Territory Canada Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
The LovedOne flashes her brave hiker smile just short of camp

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