Sunday, July 9, 2017

Burning the Tyers

Grant and I walked into the remote and seldom (like, I have heard of one party to paddle it in the past 30 years) visited Tyers river in the South East Yukon.  They spoke of portages, canyons and epics.
Access is off the CanTung road via old mining roads and animal trails.
The Tyers flows into Frances lake, and to make the loop, you then paddle down the Frances river to the bridge on the CanTung road.  The Frances has its own fun with a BIG water class III canyon just below the Tuchitua river.  Watch for monster holes and waves!
We found fantastic white water, canyons galore (all runnable) and beautiful country.  At least it seemed to be, what we could see of it given that it poured rain and the river was flooding.
A classic that should be be on your Yukon hit list, given its easy one day walk-in access and quality white water.

Packrafting the Tyers River from Yukon Frolics on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Upper Wheaton Run 2017

The Upper Wheaton Run is becoming something of a Yukon PR classic.
Not yet a trade route, as there aren't that many PR's around, but it will get there.
Paul Burbidge, aka The Surveyor General has documented this classic with many fine nug's on his exposure site .
Thanks Paul B, Josh, and Dylan for another good trip.

Hiking in Friday night after work.
Lot of snow up there....

Loving the sun.

Lots of wallowing in deep, isothermic snow.

The creek below had blown out earlier in the day.

Amazing evening light.

9PM, Friday night.

Following Sheep trails up the ridge and avoiding the snow.

More isothermal snowpack.  Making poor time and considering camping in the pass as its 10:30 PM.
No campfire in the trees tonight sadly. 

It snowed all night.

More isothermal snow for breakfast.

We would have had snow free walking the night before if we had carried on.

Radelet peak.


The views never get boring.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Carrying a PFD for Packrafting

You know how much of a PITA it is to carry a PFD.
Bulky, so they take up room in your pack, same goes for the exterior, and they are always snagging bush.
If you own an HMG Porter, this system works well.
The Porter Stuff Pocket is a pretty much necessary add on to these packs, and if you have one, stuffing the PFD behind it is a great way to keep things sleek.
However, the plastic gimcracks that hold the pocket to the daisy chains on the pack are fiddly at best, and pretty much eliminate any sort of quick release function.
Solution: use some accessory 'biners (I like the plastic Black Diamonds)to attach the pocket to the daisy chains.  You can cut the old plastic ones off if you like.
Now, you can place the PFD under the pocket, and use the pocket to hold the FD in place and out of the way.  Depending on the PFD, you can vary the placements of the pocket straps to the daisy chains quickly and easily.
Speaking of PFDs, while the Astral V8 seems to be a standard light weight, it does lack back protection and a bit of buoyancy.
You can pick and chose from many excellent (heavy, bulky) rescue PFDs, but for remote trips, my own philosophy is that if you are getting into situations where a rescue PFD seems like a necessity, you are either willing to carry a lot more weight and bulk than I am, or, maybe consider scaling back the gnar.
Regardless, after much research, I settled on the NRS Ion as a good compromise PFD.  Its not a rescue PFD, but it does have good back protection and high buoyancy.  Bonus, its not much heavier than the V8, and its not bulky.  No zippers to mess with either.
This can be tidied up by tucking the straps behind, but you get the idea.
BD accessory 'biner.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tubeless Surly Clownshoe

There are quite a few ghetto DIY tubeless setups for CS out there.
Split tubes have their own draw backs, and sourcing the right size tubes can be a pain.
The Gorilla Tape version seems to be the most popular, but, as with any tape based CS tubeless setup, the major fail point is the longitudinal seam that any tape less than 4" (100mm) will have.
At some point, sealant will penetrate the long seam and mess up things.
However, there is an alternative.
Siga tape.  Siga makes building membrane sealing tape in a variety of types and sizes.
The one to get is the Wigluv 100.  Its 100mm wide, sticky as hell, fiber reinforced and can be found at most building supply centers.  Kilrich has it here in YXY.  Drawback?  At $100 a roll, make sure you have some friends who want to go tubeless as well.
Another drawback is that it DOES stretch.  Tony put me onto the Wigluv, and hes had it on his tubeless CS/Bud?lou set up for a while, but with only the rim tape backing it, and running the wheels at hard condition PSI, he finally had a bulge fail.
In a nutshell, I have about 300 Km on this system now, and its been bombproof, touch wood....
So, bearing that in mind, the install that seems to be solid is as follows:

An early attempt using Tyvec Tape.  As can be seen, Stans sealant gets everywhere.

Essentially, in version 1, the sealant got through the Tyvec layers and only the rim tape was sealing.  This can happen with the Gorilla fiber tape as well.

Gorilla Repair Tape.  Strong, light and clean.  Needed to prevent bulging of the rim tape.  Seems to be better than the Black duct tape like Gorilla tape as it doesn't leave residue behind when you remove it.

After you have cleaned the rim tape and surface, run a single strip of Gorilla repair tape down the middle.  Important!  Use a heat gun on low to ensure good adhesion.  This is key.

After the first middle strip of Gorilla repair tape, add a strip to either side of the rim channel, ending it on the shoulder, then add one more on the middle.  This adds strength and prevents bulging and therefore strain on the Siga tape.
Use heat on all strips.

A thing of beauty.  100mm of WigLUV!  Use heat on this as well, low heat, gently.

The final bit; 1" Gorilla Tape to build up the shoulders.  In hind site, I think I would have used the Gorilla repair tape.   Again, apply with heat.
It seems like lots of tape, but the stuff is lighter than the Black Gorilla tape.
So far, so good, no bulging of the rim tape and I've been running pressures to 17 PSI.
Note: in the above image, you can see some Wigluv outboard of the Black tape.  Take a sharp Olfa/razor blade and trim it.

Rabbit River Video

From our trip last summer.  Not too much longer 'till summer....

Packrafting the Rabbit River. from Yukon Frolics on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Friday Creek the Right Way.

A couple of years ago, Dylan and I checked out Friday creek off the Alligator lake road.
Turned out it was a great ride in the alpine.
So good, we decided to head back to ride it the other way, which is starting at Fish lake and ending up at Annie lake.
So good.
Lots of descending on buff dog sled trails.
Paul B, Evan W, Josh D and I set off on Saturday from Fish lake.  Josh made it approximately 5 meters before snapping his Carbon fork airing off a large rock in the parking lot.
The rest of us had a great ride,ending up at our collective cabins on the Annie lake road.
Josh, you would have loved it....
Punching our way across Coal lake.

Coal Lake

Evan about to bliss out on the descent to Coal lake.  So, so good.