Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nagoon Mountain & Twentymile River

Adventure beckoned. After last week's epic adventure into Crow Pass, my friend Todd Kasteler and I decided to crank out another adventure with the added bonus of packrafting. Our plan was to run up into Berry Pass, climb Nagoon Mountain, and packraft out on the Twentymile River. Leaving the Alyeska Prince Hotel at 8:15 with heavier packs than normal and clear skies, we quickly progressed up the Winner Creek Trail to Berry Pass. After a brief reconnaissance of the area, including the deteriorating weather, we made our way up the North East ridge towards Nagoon Mountain. The route consisted of steep loose scree, exposure, and mild route finding. The crux of the route was a sharp exposed drop-off almost 100 feet from the summit. Navigating scree, broken rocks, and exposure, Todd and I very slowly managed our nerves. It is crazy how one small section can take almost 45-minutes to negotiate! Safely down the crux, we blasted our way up to the summit, took photos, enjoyed the cloud covered "views" and made our way back down to Berry Pass for the next phase of the adventure... 

Below is a photo of the last sections of Nagoon Mountain.       

Below are two photos I took while waiting for Todd to negotiate the crux of the climb. The views were spectacular! Totally wild land.

Todd carefully negotiating the perilous crux.

The summit of Nagoon Mountain! The views were pretty much nonexistent.

The clear skies and nice weather we had at the start of the run unfortunately turned into high cold winds and fast approaching rain clouds.

Making our way off the mountain and back down into the lush green Berry Pass, Todd and I began the long decent to Twentymile River for the packrafting phase of the adventure.

Gearing up and refueling for the river. Let the good times continue!

After packrafting for several hours and problem solving challenges, we finally concluded our day at 7:45 p.m. for a total of 11 hours 30 minutes of adventure. Todd, thanks for a great one and God, thanks for the yellow paddle!