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Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Alcan Rider, Dec 28, 2013.
Now that's funny
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Who has information on how much time it takes to get to Deadhorse from Fairbanks? General data is fine, just gauging how slow/fast the trek is.
Well it has been done in 6 hours 45 min (one way). Two long days, one up one back, is done by some, but most folks take two days up and two days back.
2 days up and two days back is kind of a relaxed pace. It allows for lodging options at Coldfoot/Wiesman coming and going and Deadhorse.
I did a 3 day run, reaching Galbraith Lake to camp the first night, back to Coldfoot the second. That was a longish day, but not too strenuous for an oldish phart like me. The north slope weather forecast dictated my plan as snow was expected above 2500 feet the second night. Atigun pass is 4700'.
Details in my r/r about Day 33 I think.
My son and I leave for Deadhorse Monday morning from Wasilla, if you see us give a wave
God Speed JeepAlaska!
Did the 14 year old make it back to the Valley alive?
I see a lot of ride reports from people who were riding the Dalton anywhere from May though July. I have a pretty unique opportunity where I can take an unexpected 3, maybe 4 weeks off from work starting immediately. I was planning to make the trek from Seattle to Deadhorse on my F800GS next June, but circumstances being what they are, I am now looking at potentially departing this weekend. By my estimations this would put me heading north out of Fairbanks around Aug 25th.
I'm not going to ask what I can expect weather-wise because I understand it can be all over the map hour by hour. Instead, I'd like to ask if anyone else has made a similar trip this late in the season. In other words, am I crazy to be considering it? I'd be looking at departing Seattle this weekend, arriving Deadhorse on or around Aug 27, then head back home. If weather supports, I would attempt Tuktoyaktuk as well. I would be camping every night with the exception of Deadhorse.
I am going into this with the understanding that there is a higher likelihood Atigun Pass will not permit my passing this time of year, and if that's the case then I'll just turn around and find somewhere else to ride where the weather is nicer. Or just head home from there, I'm very flexible.
No, you're not crazy. It has been done, but it has been blocked by weather as well. You're assessment seems spot on and you have a sensible attitude regarding that a run to Deadhorse might not happen and can adjust as needed. It would still be a great ride, the country is just as beautiful in Aug/Sept as it is in July. (If the weather doesn't completely dump on you the whole time. )
One caution is that you will have less daylight (still more than 12hours/day, but certainly not the 20+ rides in peak season have), so factor that as well. You should try to avoid running at night.
MapMaster has covered it pretty well. Atigun Pass has even been blocked by snow in July, and has been beautiful in September. There is just no way to predict what you might find. Labor Day weekend of '07 a friend and I had a great trip up and back, doing the inaugural Iron Butt Haul Road 1000. Two years later, on September 22nd, I made it to the top of Atigun Pass with little trouble, but found a blinding blizzard blowing on the north side and, in a rare display of common sense, turned around and rode back to Fairbanks. A couple of days later it probably would have been possible to make it all the way to Deadhorse, but I chose not to push my luck.
And as MapMaster also pointed out, it can be quite beautiful up here in late summer/early fall, especially in September as leaves turn and the hills become a kaleidoscope of color. That is, IF the clouds lift (and they have been pretty thick and wet for much of this so-called summer.
The good news is - mosquitoes will be pretty much long gone by the time you get up north. The bad news (and you knew there had to be some, didn't you?) is that the mozzies are replaced by gnats, no-seeums, and whitesox. But those latter three are pretty idle until it warms up in the daytime. You're generally safe until the temp gets above 50°.
You have the right attitude - if it's lousy weather where you want to ride, find some good weather somewhere else and head for it.
Really appreciate the info, guys. You've put my mind at ease a bit, so now I'll just concentrate on gathering my gear and trying to remember how to use Basecamp. I don't know what it is about that interface that I find so difficult to navigate.
I picked up a new set of Shinko 804/805s today. I know I'm going against conventional wisdom here which says to be intimately familiar with your bike before you make this trip (I've never run these tires). That said, I'm a fairly competent rider and I think I will adapt quickly to how they handle in the mud. I just wasn't happy with the TKC80s I had, but perhaps becuase they were not in the best of shape when I bought the bike. My hope is that I'll be able to make the full 6000-7000 miles on this set of Shinkos. I opted not to have a rear waiting for me in Fairbanks, and my frugality may bite me in the ass when I'm stuck there for 4 days waiting for one to come in. It's a chance I'll take and I'll have nobody to blame but myself.
Man, I thought I was gonna have many more months to prep for this trip, but if life has taught me anything it's the spontaneous adventures are often times the most memorable.
Heading out this weekend, so hopefully I'll be putting up a new ride report in about 3-4 weeks.
Good luck, and don't sweat Basecamp. There's not that many roads to choose from.