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Tatshenshini / Alsek River "Journey Through the Ice Age"

Yukon, Canada

Departures

  • Jul 15, 2015 - Jul 24, 2015
  • Jul 28, 2015 - Aug 6, 2015

Pre-Trip

You will need to be in Whitehorse the evening before the rafting begins. After you arrive in Whitehorse we will rendezvous in the evening at a local hotel where you will meet the other rafters and the guides you will be sharing your adventure with. The guides will give you an overview of the trip and will make sure any last minute questions you have will be answered. You will also receive your personal dry bags and rafting gear for use on the trip.

Day One - Journey to Dalton Post

The journey begins at 8:00am when we pick you up from your hotel in Whitehorse and head out on the Alaskan Highway. Our first stop is Haines Junction on the doorstep of the Kluane National Park and Reserve. Here you’ll have the opportunity to visit The Kluane National Park Visitor Centre and pick up some delicious treats at the renowned local bakery. Then you’ll load back into the van and travel over Haines Pass to the Alaskan border to clear customs. Keep your eyes peeled, as the pass is home to abundant wildlife and Grizzly sightings are common on this beautiful drive. After clearing customs we’ll head to Dalton Post to meet up with the other guides who have been rigging the rafts in preparation for our journey. After enjoying a delicious dinner by the campfire you’ll experience your first night of camping by the Tatshenshini River.

Day Two - Forests, Canyons and White Water

The day begins as every river day does; with a serving of coffee, tea, fruit juice as well as granola and fruit salad. You will also be served a hearty warm breakfast like eggs benny, banana nut pancakes with maple syrup or scrambled eggs with freshly baked bread. After breaking down camp and a thorough safety briefing, we set off down river deep into the canyons of the St. Elias mountains. You’ll raft through some fun, splashy class 2 – 4 rapids; the most continuous white water of the trip before arriving at camp to relax and dry out.

Days Three & Four - Twists, Turns, Wildlife and Wildflowers

On day 3 you’ll experience a more relaxed Tathshenshini river as it meanders through Quiet Canyon, the Oxbows, and past Bear Bite Creek. You will see panoramic mountain vistas and with a keen eye it is possible to spot moose, trumpeter swans and the bald eagles who call this area home. We’ll end the day camping at Sediments Creek, the location of our first layover day. On day 4 you’ll have the option of relaxing at camp or joining a hike to an open ridge where you’ll see great views of the meandering river and the surrounding area. A short hike along the ridge takes you to an alpine meadow full of wildflowers bursting with color. The adventurous members of the group can hike an additional 1000 meters to Goat Ridge and be rewarded with views of glaciers in the Alsek Range.

Days Five & Six - Mountains, Glaciers and the Meeting of two Great Rivers

On day 5 you’ll raft through the fun, splashy Monkey Wrench rapid just before passing the O’Connor River. Downstream the scenery becomes increasingly more spectacular as the valley broadens. This allows you to see glaciers hanging from the mountainsides all around. On day 6 the river becomes more braided, filled with sediment from the surrounding glaciers. The river is so wide that by the time we meet the confluence with the mighty Alsek you’ll find it difficult to determine which way the river is flowing and in which direction you are heading. When we reach our camp at Reynolds Creek you may find yourself suffering from stiff necks, eye strain and full memory cards- the classic symptoms of SOS (Scenic Overdose Syndrome).

Days Seven & Eight - Ice Walking and Ice Fields

On day 7 we’ll head off down the Alsek reaching the dramatic views of Walker Glacier in a few relaxing hours. After enjoying your lunch you can accompany your guide for a hike onto the glacier and see this majestic landscape up close. Once you’ve marveled at the seracs and crevasses we’ll head back to the camp. From here you can hear ice falls crashing through the night. On day 8 we’ll leave Walker Glacier behind and cut through the Barbazon Range, passing the massive Novatak Glacier. The Novatak is nearly 6 miles wide and is the tip of the largest non polar ice field in the world. In the south you can see views of Mount Fairweather, 15,600 ft- the 4th highest mountain on the continent.

Day Nine - A Journey into the Ice Age

On day 9 we’ll set off from camp and enter the breathtaking Alsek Lake. Alsek Lake is the climax of the trip and is filled with floating icebergs. The icebergs are a result of huge chunks of ice carving off from the 2 enormous glaciers that feed the lake; the Alsek and the Grand Plateau. We’ll row through the lake keeping a respectful distance from the bergs for a once in a lifetime experience that you’ll never forget.

Day Ten - Back to Civilization

After breaking camp for the last time, we’ll float the last few miles down to the airstrip at Dry Bay, Alaska on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Here, we’ll collapse the rafts and board the plane for our flight back to Whitehorse. You’ll get spectacular views over the mountains. You’ll arrive back in Whitehorse in just over an hour and we’ll take you to your hotel for a well-deserved hot shower. Tonight, we’ll get together for our farewell dinner, raise our glasses for a last toast to the Tatshenshini and start planning our next adventure.

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