Saturday, July 14, 2012

6/19/12 Packrafting Eagle River - Briggs Bridge to JBER

It was my first float on this section of Eagle River; another trip with the meetup group. The water was running a bit high (4.94 ft./1.87 kfcs), but other than the campground rapids I heard this wasn't too rowdy. This river has a different character than other rivers I've packrafted. The murky water hid some of the obstacles beneath the surface, although I got better at picking them out the further I floated. The water was pretty easy until the campground rapids, but when we got there we all decided to portage. I'll wait to run them at a lower level. There wasn't a good risk to reward ratio that day, with a decent amount of water flowing beneath the strainers in the middle of the river. It looked too easy to get hung up on the wood if you flip. The rapids are only 15 seconds of floating anyways.

The water got more fun after the bridge and the class II waves got bigger and more constant. There were a couple spots where the river was churning pretty good. We had a couple swimmers (me included). One fellow swam for quite a ways before letting go of his boat so he could grab onto a log. Luckily we found it in the weir at the takeout. He had to walk 4 miles down the railroad tracks; there was a bit of searching involved but we finally all met up. My flip was pretty uneventful; just a self rescue. Glad I had some recent practice in the packrafting class.

If you want to do this float go the the link below. Resister for a permit and print it out. Bring the permit to the Visitors' Center at the Fort Richardson gate on the Glenn Highway. Show them your ID, registration and proof of insurance. You'll get a visitors' pass for your car. You can check into a particular area online or on the phone. It's best to ask the person at the gate for details.

 Campground Rapids

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