2012 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic Info

LINK TO 2012 RESULTS PAGE

Videos from the 2009-2011 Gerstle River to McKinley Village course. Click on the arrows-out icon to view full screen.

Use the contact form at the bottom of this page to request an application. Rookie applications are due July 2nd, everything else is due July 6th.

Several people are interested in a Chugach traverse from Thompson Pass, east of Valdez, to McCarthy. We will be doing this trip July 8-15, 2012.

I haven’t found anyone who has done this trip before. It promises beautiful terrain but is likely to be very challenging due to thick brush, steep drainages, and unrunnable rivers.

Minimum length: ~120 miles
Floatable: ~30 miles at best

Start: Thompson Pass
East to Marshall Pass
Down Tasnuna River to Copper River at Bremner Dunes
Cross Copper River at Bremner Dunes
Bushwhack through the Chugach Mountains- several options
Float parts of the Chakina or parallel drainages to the McCarthy Road
Finish: McCarthy

Extreme caution is warranted for the packrafting options in this region.

According to Andrew Embick’s Fast and Cold:

Tasnuna: Class II+ except for a “lethally unrunnable canyon” at 1200-1000 feet elevation. [I intend to put in around 900 feet.]

Copper: Class II. 50,000 – 150,000 cfs, 9-12 mph, large hydraulics, eddys, whirlpools. My main concern regarding the Copper River crossing is that adiabatic winds rip up valley from morning to dusk. The winds will almost certainly prevent a safe crossing during the day. I plan to cross at night, but the prospect of swimming a huge, cold, fast river at night is disturbing!

Bremner: Class III+ to unrunnable. The Bremner River is known as “The River of the Ten B’s”: brown water, big boulders, bugs, bears, bad rapids, bushes, bad weather, big boulders, and big bucks.

Tana: Class IV. “The bold or unlucky boater running down the middle of the river in some of the drops would encounter true violence, easily flipping a 16-foot raft, and with holes that even a thrill-seeking, adrenaline-junkie, death-kayaker would avoid.

Chakina: Class V at medium-high water [early July]. “Any party considering the Chakina should feel quite confident of its technical expertise… the greatest threat to kayakers is undoubtedly logjams… When the West Fork comes in from the left, the river nearly doubles in volume, steepens, and begins dropping into a canyon about 7 miles in length. The river increases again substantially in volume after the Klu RIver joins (also from the left), and the biggest drops follow… hardly slows down at all on the way to the Chitina…”

I DO NOT PLAN TO SPEND ANY TIME ON THESE WATERS!


I’ll be posting information and photos from the area as I find them. Also FYI, historical AMWC info and blog.

Tebay Lakes to Upper Klu River
Klu River region (and an incredible trip before and after it!)
Bremner Air Strip region (first photos)
Added 1/24/2012 (Thanks Mike!) “This is easily the roughest trip we’ve ever published.”

Copper River near Bremner, photo by Tony and Becky

Mtns south of Tasnuna drainage, photo by Tony and Becky

Bremner Valley view from dunes (back right), photo by Tony and Becky


We have some awesome gear/logistics donations this year thanks to these folks:


I’d appreciate any information you might have on the route. Please comment on this page or send me an email. To join an email list with trip details, please fill out the fields below.

6 responses

  1. roman

    Maybe I can limp through one more…..but I’ll be bringing my spray decked Llama and dry suit for this one.

    November 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

  2. Mike

    Thanks for taking over the race, Luc. I’m looking forward to it.

    I’m a rookie looking for a teammate or two. I’m in the Anchorage area and would like to find someone somewhat local with whom to do some race prep this winter and on through the race. If you’re interested in talking about it, send me a note and we can introduce ourselves.

    I have a forwarding address set up [amwc at fisherak dot com] and will respond via gmail.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm

  3. Pingback: My 2012 race/trip schedule « Bedrock & Paradox

  4. Ahhhh this just had to be scheduled for the same time I’m planning to be a part of a trip up in Gates….but if that get’s cancelled, I’m in.

    I like Roman’s thought on being decked up and dry suited…better to have lots of fun, lose the race, and survive, rather than go all in to win the race, have too much fun, and still lose the race because you didn’t survive.

    December 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm

  5. anybody willing to take on a team member?

    March 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

  6. Pingback: Iditarod Invitational veteran leaves gadgets behind for long, cold walk toward … | Alaska News Feed

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