Interesting read on AK river trip gone bad - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-01-2019   #1
 
Seattle, Washington
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Interesting read on AK river trip gone bad

https://www.outsideonline.com/239066...%20came%20home

I do not at all want to sit back and pick apart decisions and criticize but I think it is always useful to look at incidents like this and think about ways they could be prevented

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Old 03-02-2019   #2
 
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Henderson, Nevada
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-02-2019   #3
 
Denver, Colorado
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That's a sad story indeed. Water is powerful and Mother nature tends to multiply any mistakes in wilderness environs! I am happy that he died doing what he loved, hope it was as peaceful as possible and that the family is able to find comfort in the man he was always seeking adventure!
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Old 03-02-2019   #4
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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That's a sad story indeed. Water is powerful and Mother nature tends to multiply any mistakes in wilderness environs! I am happy that he died doing what he loved, hope it was as peaceful as possible and that the family is able to find comfort in the man he was always seeking adventure!

I think you hit it all on the head. No one wants to die, but why not die doing something you love. And its a risk we all take.
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Old 03-02-2019   #5
 
Seattle, Washington
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I think you hit it all on the head. No one wants to die, but why not die doing something you love. And its a risk we all take.
I couldn't agree more. I can only hope that when I am in my 70s I am planning my own trips, rowing my own boat, and who knows flying into remote rivers in AK. These guys would have been safer paying $10 K each flying into a backcountry fishing lodge, but you cannot put a cash value on backcountry adventures.

After reading the article, I couldn't help going into SWR mode and analyze problematic decisions that were made, then realizing I have done many of the same things, usually when fishing: boating with waders, not wearing my PFD (though I don't know whether they were or not), and most importantly, not having the nuts to cancel a trip you have been planning for months when it is clear conditions are not safe.

I thought it was telling in the article when one of the guys was thinking "we have no business on this river". We have all been there, whether it is boating, backcountry skiing, climbing. Often these trips turn out to be the most epic adventures, but I imagine many accidents/ deaths occur when we just can't bring ourselves to halt a trip in its tracks after so much planning, dreaming, or speak up if you have your doubts. Can you imagine - not only the months of planning, coordination, cash, then finding yourselves on the banks of a river that looks absolutely unsafe? It would be hard enough to unpack, load your truck and go home but imagine if you flew in and had to get on the sat phone and call off the trip. I hate to say it but I probably would have launched as well.

On my next trip, I will take the time to remind everyone, regardless of age or experience to speak up when there are safety concerns.

Dave
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Old 03-02-2019   #6
 
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Henderson, Nevada
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Originally Posted by davbaker View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DidNotWinLottery View Post
I think you hit it all on the head. No one wants to die, but why not die doing something you love. And its a risk we all take.
I couldn't agree more. I can only hope that when I am in my 70s I am planning my own trips, rowing my own boat, and who knows flying into remote rivers in AK. These guys would have been safer paying $10 K each flying into a backcountry fishing lodge, but you cannot put a cash value on backcountry adventures.

After reading the article, I couldn't help going into SWR mode and analyze problematic decisions that were made, then realizing I have done many of the same things, usually when fishing: boating with waders, not wearing my PFD (though I don't know whether they were or not), and most importantly, not having the nuts to cancel a trip you have been planning for months when it is clear conditions are not safe.

I thought it was telling in the article when one of the guys was thinking "we have no business on this river". We have all been there, whether it is boating, backcountry skiing, climbing. Often these trips turn out to be the most epic adventures, but I imagine many accidents/ deaths occur when we just can't bring ourselves to halt a trip in its tracks after so much planning, dreaming, or speak up if you have your doubts. Can you imagine - not only the months of planning, coordination, cash, then finding yourselves on the banks of a river that looks absolutely unsafe? It would be hard enough to unpack, load your truck and go home but imagine if you flew in and had to get on the sat phone and call off the trip. I hate to say it but I probably would have launched as well.

On my next trip, I will take the time to remind everyone, regardless of age or experience to speak up when there are safety concerns.

Dave
I agree. I was talking about this with my wife this morning and like you said mistakes were mad, I've made them too. It's a good reminder for all us coming up on a big water year. Know your limits and boat within them. Sad story but I would much rather die like that than in a hospital or nursing home sick.
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Old 03-03-2019   #7
CBrow
 
Norwood, Colorado
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I have never run American Creek. But as a long time river guide and resident of Alaska, I knew about it and have wanted to run it for many years. However, it did have a reputation and there have been numerous accidents and several fatalities there over the years. Unfortunately many folks who travel to Alaska to float rivers do so with the mind set of a fisherman and not as a whitewater river runner. American creek is most definitely a white water river that happens to have good fishing as well. Like many rivers in Alaska log jams and sweepers are a major problem and unusually high water events happen on a regular basis due to rain or melting glaciers. I am not going to criticize or pass judgment on these guys and it is indeed a very sad outcome. My condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased. Over the years as more people go to Alaska to run rivers, these stories are becoming more common. They just don't always end this badly.
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