Going up the ALCAN

Discussion in 'Canada' started by McCloud93, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. McCloud93

    McCloud93 n00b

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    I'm planning on crossing the border into Canada at Coutts tomorrow then heading up Alaska Avenue east of the mountains, hopefully reaching Anchorage by the end of the month. I have fresh tires and good winter gear (good down to -10 C at highway speeds), and the bike's good for about 200 miles a tank. My primary concerns are ice and fuel.

    Will I be able to get through the ALCAN this early in the year with ice on the roads and fuel stations closed for the season?

    Also, I've been trying to find some motorcycle snow chains, but few people have even heard of them and no one seems to have them. Is there anywhere in Canada that might have some for a KLR?

    Thanks in advance for any insight/advice you may have
    #1
  2. northern

    northern Been here awhile

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    Wow, really? Riding a KLR on ICE?

    I would question your gear, it is still winter up here in northern Canada..... There was a snow fall warning out today for the Fort Nelson region in northern BC. Daytime normal highs are 0 C in Watson Lake but overnight lows are -16 C and the forecast lows for the upcoming week are -20 C and colder.

    Take a look at the Yukon Road report. http://www.511yukon.ca/ most of the Alcan is showing covered or partly covered.

    Is this post 13 days early? Are you moving to Anchorage?
    #2
  3. ciedema

    ciedema мотоциклист

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    Even as South as Quensel the weather is still pretty heavy - my cousin has just posted some pics on Facebook of it snowing up there.
    #3
  4. McCloud93

    McCloud93 n00b

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    I should also mention that I have the option of putting the bike in storage until it's warmer and flying up to Anchorage, so if it's not doable right now, I can always save it for another day.
    #4
  5. McCloud93

    McCloud93 n00b

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    The gear's good, mostly layers of jackets with a good base layer and a waterproof riding jacket on top with the insulated hand muffs in place of standard hand guards. And if I get stuck out on the road, I have a tent and sleeping bag just in case.

    And I am moving to Anchorage, new job starts on 1 April, made a last minute decision and rode the bike up to Montana so far.
    #5
  6. Nanuq

    Nanuq Aventurer by Trade

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    It really comes down to how comfortable you are riding on ice, you won't be able to cruise at 80 miles an hour and the ice is treacherous. Warmth is relative. You can always prepare for the cold. There is a lot of info about ice screws, shingle screws and other assorted studs for for motorcycle tires. It's been done before. In case anything happens you need to be prepared mentally and with skill to stay in a harsh conditions until you can move away from the situation. Just my two cents and speaking from my own Arctic and Alaskan/Yukon experience.
    #6
  7. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    We had an unseasonably warm early part of March, and around Whitehorse the Alaska Highway is mostly bare. Snowed today, but melted and blew off quickly. No guaranty elsewhere, I haven't been farther south than Jake's Corner in a while. From Watson to west of the Continental Divide can be stay longer. I'm hearing it's actually worse farther south - up here the road gets so cold that most snow blows off, not forms more ice, so once it's cleared for winter it tends to stay decent. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
    #7
  8. Kamloopsrider

    Kamloopsrider Been here awhile

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    While I rarely try to dissuade people from doing things like this..... Travelling alone in these conditions may not be the best thing to do. You are a long way from help and cell coverage can be spotty.
    You really didn't need to mention that you're on a KLR, that's a given.
    Either way good luck.
    #8
  9. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    I'm in Ft Nelson today, it's -14 and blowing snow. The pavement is pretty much bare, the forecast is for continued cold until the end of the month. There's no worries about being stranded alone as there's so much industrial traffic you'll likely be travelling in a convoy of heavy trucks even north of here. The Alaska Highway is busy enough summer and winter that it can hardly be considered remote but it's a pretty cold ride right now. Lots of gas all along the way.
    #9
  10. northern

    northern Been here awhile

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    Ok, you mentioned it was good for -10 C. The high today in Fort Nelson is -10 C, and I would imagine that is only for a few hours in the middle of the afternoon. I would expect you could see over night lows below -20 C.
    #10
  11. sidewayz_control

    sidewayz_control Been here awhile

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    I'm not a fan of KLRs but I'm a fan of this guy, inmate Brokentoof

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=958160
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=881727

    It's very feasable but you have to be prepared. Look at his videos you'll see what it takes.

    I lived in the Yukon for 10 years as a kid a few of those 160 miles NW of Dawson City. Memories? It gets fecking cold and if you're stuck by yourself you're stuck bigtime!

    Keep the riding for the warmer days, the season is short on the calendar but Land of the Midnight Sun = 24h daylight so that's a plus.

    Cheers

    Ivan
    #11
  12. where2next?

    where2next? Map guy

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    I'd go with studs but they will be like ice when you are on dry pavement......

    This is either the best or worst idea I've ever heard... I can't decide which.

    If you do run into problems people will certainly stop and help. Carry some ratchet straps with you so you can secure the bike in a pickup. Might not hurt to just try and hitch hike with the bike if things get sketchy...
    #12
  13. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    THIS!!!

    Do the ride when you can enjoy it.

    Spring arrived a few minutes ago with SNOW, at 1700 feet elevation 30 miles or so north of the US border.
    #13
  14. Kamloopsrider

    Kamloopsrider Been here awhile

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    It's not the Alcan as much as the highways getting there that are the problem. He's going up the east side of the mountains into the Peace country. Makes the Alcan look like the Trans Canada this time of year.
    #14
  15. McCloud93

    McCloud93 n00b

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    Thanks for the advice everyone,
    Decided to put the bike in storage, I'll be back in a few months and finish it up.
    #15
  16. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Good choice. Snowy and icy as hell in Ft St John today. Had you done the trip a week ago I would have said go for it. What a difference a week can make :norton
    #16
  17. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice Fights for old DC

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    Greetings

    I'm thinking about getting lifts of opportunities for my Alaska Trip.

    MC. 2013 DR650
    Time. early-mid June

    , I think it is best for me to cross the border into BC first and then look for a transport.

    What US boarder should I cross to find empty pick up trucks and RVs along the way?

    Thanks for reading
    #17
  18. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice Fights for old DC

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    97 , Oroville, WA to Hilton AB looks like it gets a lot of traffic.
    Dawson Creek is northwest of her and then the Alaskan Highway.

    I like Clearbrook, WA because it takes you to the 37 Stewart.

    It will be hard to get a one way trip. Most folk who drive all that way have their ride loaded with gear.
    #18
  19. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice Fights for old DC

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    Route

    Osoyoos BC
    Pinticon BC
    97charlie
    Merritt BC
    Kamloops BC
    100 mile house
    Prince George
    Yellow head 16 to the 37 Stewart

    I like it.
    Plenty of good towns to find rides.

    I just need to work on my bargaining skills. Jk
    #19