Alaska Alpine Omnitracking

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PistonPants, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. PistonPants

    PistonPants Crankcase Scavenger

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Cantwell, AK
    This Sunday, we made another trip into the Schist Creek backcountry. Same place as my last ride report, but this time lots more pics!

    My homey Shutter Monkey and I finally get a day off at the same time. This mission we scout a crossing of a creek 15 miles in that should open up more terrain that climbs over the 5000 foot level. The ultimate goal being to reach a pass that divides Revine and Bruskasna creek drainages.

    Shutter Monkey guides a fly fishing trip in the morning and meets me at 11:30. After breakfast and some prep, we shove off around 1:00.
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    Not a slave to fashion, the Shutter Monkey sports shorts and knee pads and his 1972 vintage helmet purchased from a thrift store in Arkansas for $6.

    The Kawasaki Monster:
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    2 miles up the highway, across the Nenana and into the woods...the adventure begins.
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    Crossing Schist Creek:
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    And climb the hill we call 'the price of admission'
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    It's a long steep rugged climb up out of the forest to the alpine. Once on top, it's like riding on the moon.

    Better not mess with the Shutter Monkey.
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    The Helmet.....You all should take a closer look at the helmet:
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    That gold metalflake and chrome trim can't cover up that red neck.:lol3

    Is there a part of a Gas-Gas that does not have 'Gas Gas' cast into it?
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    Sweet machinery.

    From our vantage one can see the vast cleft in the earth's crust where the Denali Fault runs east-west. This is the front range slopes of the Alaska Range.
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    More report coming later...
    Enjoy,

    Piston
    #1
  2. dpouwel

    dpouwel Petualang

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    617
    Location:
    Jogjakarta, Indonesia
    :lurk
    #2
  3. PistonPants

    PistonPants Crankcase Scavenger

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Cantwell, AK
    I call it 'omnitracking' because it is the opposite of singletracking.
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    Routefinding involves taking in the entire landscape to best plot a course, being careful to pay close attention to the landscape immediately in front of you.
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    We arrive at the first tributary to Bruskasna Creek. An old hunting camp with its wall tent frame sits beside the creek.
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    The main fork of this tributary is what we try to find a way to cross. It is lined with thick willow and alder, has swift current and a rocky bed, and steep rocky banks. After some poking around and scouting, we find a spot that has potential. We spent better than an hour cutting brush and rearranging rocks in the creek bed to make a crossing spot. I think we can make it, but we opt out of trying it out. It is gnarly and requires the next level of commitment to slog bikes through there (twice for a round trip). So we eat lunch of fried chicken and oatmeal raisin cookies in the stream.
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    We climb back up to where the bikes are parked, mark the location for future convenience, and wring out our socks. The Gas Gas has a busted kickstand and leans against my bike at every stop. They seem to like one another.
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    We decide to climb into a high cirque at the headwaters of Schist Cr.
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    Last time I was there, I broke off my clutch perch and was pelted by a hailstorm and freezing winds. This time:
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    We park the bikes and walk back across the granite strewn cirque.
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    The bikes are parked just below the nearest horizon in this shot.
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    Back when we left on this ride, I told Mrs. Piston the flight plan. "If we aren't back by 7:00, you should start to worry." At this point, it is 6:30. We have a 6 mile ride to the first point where a cell phone gets a signal. Hustle back down the mountain.

    Snow on an 80 degree afternoon:
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    We make the dash and get a signal and place an 'all is well' call back home at 6:59. How time flies.

    The view back toward home:
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    The return crossing of Schist Cr.
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    Shutter Monkey in the mud hole
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    From here we can practically taste the cold beer. Another awesome ride right from my driveway.

    Shutter Monkey had his Female's camera with him on this ride and took a bunch of pics as well. A few technical wrinkles need to get ironed out and I'll post those photos soon.

    Piston
    #3
  4. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    841
    Location:
    Off route, recalculating
    Fantastic pictures of an amazing place. On your doorstep? Jammy git! :D
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    60,282
    Beautiful rugged terrain and action :thumb
    #5
  6. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Awesome RR, Piston! Hope to see you out on the trails one of these days :D
    #6
  7. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,953
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    Spectacular - nice lid too!
    #7
  8. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    sweet ride, guys. i wish we had some scenery like that down here in tejas...
    #8
  9. dentedvw

    dentedvw Where did I put that

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,175
    Location:
    ☼SLC-ish☼
    Well done, thanks for the pics!
    #9
  10. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,237
    Location:
    Western Piedmont, NC
    I'm glad to see my pal Slam Dunk Monkey was in the mix. That is some eye popping scenery.
    #10
  11. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,745
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Nice write-up.

    Thanks for sharing the expansive terrain above tree line.

    Mark H.
    #11
  12. PistonPants

    PistonPants Crankcase Scavenger

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Cantwell, AK
    The Shutter Monkey finally hooked me up with the images he took while on our last ride. More Photos!:lurk

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    Peace

    Piston
    #12
  13. Rellik

    Rellik o-KAY!

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Calgary
    That's beautiful stuff. Off the beaten path is very good!
    #13
  14. Stretch67

    Stretch67 Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,416
    Location:
    Bent, But Not Broken
    I spent a couple days in your backyard a couple years ago. I stayed at Backwoods Lodge there in Cantwell... loved it. Thanks for the great photos.
    #14