Author Topic: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C  (Read 716 times)

deepmud

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Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« on: November 08, 2020, 01:13:02 PM »
I got in what will likely be my last paddle for the year on October 31st. The lake is deep and slow to cool off so it's among the last liquid water - even the fast saltwater tidal zones and rivers are mess of big ice chunks while this lake and deep glacier lakes resist the ice for a bit longer ( my Portage Glacier trip last year is another example of those late-freezing waters - it's open still as well ). Local "extreme daily-paddler" Chuck Von Yamashita and his wonder-pup Paris were going and I invited myself along :D Chuck is above 150 days on water this year, in various hardshell and skin kayaks - not a SUP guy. Paris usually runs around on top of his kayak but with a brisk wind and low temps he made her ride down in the cockpit of his Klepper most of the time.


deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2020, 01:16:16 PM »
Paris gets really aggressive to any dogs on shore - she was going up to the very nose of the kayak and bouncing her feet while barking like crazy - I think the trip was nearly over right at the start - but we managed to get her where Chuck could get her and make her get in the boat.

deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2020, 01:19:16 PM »
We turned back about 3k up the lake - the wind was STIFF :D my face was getting cold enough it was hard to talk lol, and the waves were getting so I was likely going to fall off - in fact, turning back/getting sideways to the waves was tough for me. We got out on shore and stretched our legs a bit before "downbreezing back".


deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2020, 01:23:23 PM »
Much of my success this day I attribute to SuptheCreek's winter paddling advise - I got a set of size 13 neoprene boots - room for 3 pairs of wool socks tho I think I need a some shorter ones -  the layers up on the calf get bulky and wanted to slide to my ankles - I also think I will try a felt insole too - but mostly kept warm and comfy.

deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2020, 01:29:15 PM »
I had a chance to try out my fancy 6mm Neoprene gloves - and - naw, they are not good in cold wind. I dug out a pair of big ol' leather mittens I had from my days working in Prudhoe Bay - soooo WARM! My frozen thumb/index/middle fingers quickly recovered. A bit slow on the transition paddling from side to side but worth it. My solution for falling in is going to be - bring multiple big warm mitts.

Saw a ton of sheep on the mountain - at least 13 were out sunning themselves - but even with 4x optical zoom and a big 23mp sensor - they are still white dots on a rock :D

deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2020, 01:36:44 PM »
Winter gear -  big mitts - knit hat, neoprene boots (fitting better than ever - lost 40 lbs this past summer!) - O'Neal Dry suit with polar-fleece pants, two layers of sythetic t-shirt and a thin polar-fleece pullover as inside layers. I did fall in at the end - the FEELING of cold went WAY up with the sun going behind the mountain and I was starting to chill a bit - and I got clumsy hopping onto the shore - I fell on my butt, up to my shoulders in the water. But - no water in the boots and just got one mitten wet. It felt great to get out at least one more time. My wife has surgery on her knee next week and this means I'm not likely to head out on adventures again before even these waters freeze over. Then - my turn again :D my right shoulder has a big tear and I don't want the last shred to go before the doc can fix the end/tie it down - it's not good when a muscle is not pulled out to where it needs to be.


TallDude

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2020, 02:08:20 PM »
That's hard core Deep, but what an amazingly beautiful place that is. Your friend brought his little grizzly guard / alarm dog too. Great outing with your buddies.
It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

burchas

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2020, 03:15:26 PM »
Great excursion deep! Epic scenery and that dog is a trooper 8)
in progress...

deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2020, 06:17:24 PM »
Thanks! It was pretty beautiful. Here's a Relive Video - same pics but it's fun to see the terrain/where the pics are taken.

 Paris is an epic paddle dog - she's locally famous, at least among paddler groups. Link to Chuck's Facebook post, if you have FB:  https://www.facebook.com/chuck.yamashita.5/posts/4023258264368307

Paris gets out a lot! :D Scroll down on the page - she's on that kayak all the time. She did slow down about a month or so ago - got attacked by another dog, some deep punctures - :( but she came thru really well and is back at Chuck's side on mountain bike and kayak year round.





deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2020, 11:07:59 PM »
Link to the Google Album - Hi res, more pics, etc

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ah9XXT4mmNaTYvin7

Wetstuff

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2020, 05:42:32 AM »
You're a bunch of hearty folks...Mud.  I am an old Wisconsin iceboater. It can get brutal out there ...soft water in those temps is dangerous.

Get those felts.  If I remember, we used about 1/2".  I have some fancy hotel carpet liner (same thing), send me your address in a PM. The best boots in the 60s, for poor people, were Korean War issue, 'Mickey Mouse' boots.

Jim
Atlantis Mistress .. Blue Planet MultiTasker ..   Atlantis Venom

deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2020, 09:03:50 AM »
ah, Bunny Boots - I saw the last of them like 5 years ago - a guy was selling some from who-know-where out of the back of a cube-van for like $60 a pair. Truly heavy clunky WARM boots. I had one pair that my parents made last by inflating them to fit my smallish boy feet  (they have a vent for letting air out/in for flying)- I blew mine up to make the oversize boot fit - till I outgrew them :D  - Later in my childhood I had the Moon Boot - cheap, light, WARM boots lol - the 1 inch air gap in the soles really worked. I stood many hours in -20 waiting for a bus in those crappy boots :D I'll take you up on the felt if I can't get them cheap at the local outdoor store today. Another advantage to the wool is that is slowly conforms to your the shape of your foot - I had a pair in some old military style boots and the first set of inserts squished/moved to fill up gaps so much I put in a second set and ended up with a perfect-fitting set of boots that lasted many years of outdoor real world work environment :D

Bunny Boot for those who might never have seen them - not going to work for a SUP (well...they might float .... however.... soooo bulky ... )  but if you have to stand outside in COLD weather a lot they are the best.

oh look you can buy them - more surplus? How long is that rubber going to hold up? Holy Moly! I don't think they have made any since the 80's.

The cutaway shows why they were awesome - look at those layers! 3x1/4 inch of wool felt - or more! No wonder they looked goofy - but at -40c/f  ooohh man.... warm feet change everything.

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/us-military-surplus-mickey-cold-weather-boots-used?a=504927&szc=470&clrc=000&pm2d=CSE-SPG-15-PLA&utm_medium=PLA&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=CI&gclid=CjwKCAiAtK79BRAIEiwA4OskBuLNHowJqdzrksBuqvP8lyx5rsmbesEvcYOvWyBWYa0_KFzCU1l_ihoCh54QAvD_BwE


« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 09:06:48 AM by deepmud »

deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2020, 09:05:07 AM »
well might as well post the moon boot pic  ;D  They were actually a good boot for a kid to wait for a bus and cheap enough it didn't matter you outgrew them by next winter.

Also terrible for a winter SUP option tho :D and I see after a Google - you can buy them still - sort of a weird fashion statement :D but hey - warm! for sure.



« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 09:12:56 AM by deepmud »

Badger

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2020, 02:36:14 PM »
ah, Bunny Boots - I saw the last of them like 5 years ago - a guy was selling some from who-know-where out of the back of a cube-van for like $60 a pair. Truly heavy clunky WARM boots. I had one pair that my parents made last by inflating them to fit my smallish boy feet  (they have a vent for letting air out/in for flying)- I blew mine up to make the oversize boot fit - till I outgrew them :D  - Later in my childhood I had the Moon Boot - cheap, light, WARM boots lol - the 1 inch air gap in the soles really worked. I stood many hours in -20 waiting for a bus in those crappy boots :D I'll take you up on the felt if I can't get them cheap at the local outdoor store today. Another advantage to the wool is that is slowly conforms to your the shape of your foot - I had a pair in some old military style boots and the first set of inserts squished/moved to fill up gaps so much I put in a second set and ended up with a perfect-fitting set of boots that lasted many years of outdoor real world work environment :D

Bunny Boot for those who might never have seen them - not going to work for a SUP (well...they might float .... however.... soooo bulky ... )  but if you have to stand outside in COLD weather a lot they are the best.

oh look you can buy them - more surplus? How long is that rubber going to hold up? Holy Moly! I don't think they have made any since the 80's.

The cutaway shows why they were awesome - look at those layers! 3x1/4 inch of wool felt - or more! No wonder they looked goofy - but at -40c/f  ooohh man.... warm feet change everything.

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/us-military-surplus-mickey-cold-weather-boots-used?a=504927&szc=470&clrc=000&pm2d=CSE-SPG-15-PLA&utm_medium=PLA&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=CI&gclid=CjwKCAiAtK79BRAIEiwA4OskBuLNHowJqdzrksBuqvP8lyx5rsmbesEvcYOvWyBWYa0_KFzCU1l_ihoCh54QAvD_BwE


I had a pair of those back in the 70's for ice fishing.  Like Wetstuff, we called them mouse boots.

« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 02:44:58 PM by Badger »
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deepmud

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Re: Winter Paddle at Eklutna Lake, Alaska 10F/-12C
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2020, 09:46:09 PM »
ah, Bunny Boots - I saw the last of them like 5 years ago - a guy was selling some from who-know-where out of the back of a cube-van for like $60 a pair. Truly heavy clunky WARM boots. I had one pair that my parents made last by inflating them to fit my smallish boy feet  (they have a vent for letting air out/in for flying)- I blew mine up to make the oversize boot fit - till I outgrew them :D  - Later in my childhood I had the Moon Boot - cheap, light, WARM boots lol - the 1 inch air gap in the soles really worked. I stood many hours in -20 waiting for a bus in those crappy boots :D I'll take you up on the felt if I can't get them cheap at the local outdoor store today. Another advantage to the wool is that is slowly conforms to your the shape of your foot - I had a pair in some old military style boots and the first set of inserts squished/moved to fill up gaps so much I put in a second set and ended up with a perfect-fitting set of boots that lasted many years of outdoor real world work environment :D

Bunny Boot for those who might never have seen them - not going to work for a SUP (well...they might float .... however.... soooo bulky ... )  but if you have to stand outside in COLD weather a lot they are the best.

oh look you can buy them - more surplus? How long is that rubber going to hold up? Holy Moly! I don't think they have made any since the 80's.

The cutaway shows why they were awesome - look at those layers! 3x1/4 inch of wool felt - or more! No wonder they looked goofy - but at -40c/f  ooohh man.... warm feet change everything.

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/us-military-surplus-mickey-cold-weather-boots-used?a=504927&szc=470&clrc=000&pm2d=CSE-SPG-15-PLA&utm_medium=PLA&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=CI&gclid=CjwKCAiAtK79BRAIEiwA4OskBuLNHowJqdzrksBuqvP8lyx5rsmbesEvcYOvWyBWYa0_KFzCU1l_ihoCh54QAvD_BwE


I had a pair of those back in the 70's for ice fishing.  Like Wetstuff, we called them mouse boots.



Makes sense but I had never heard them called that :D

Maybe comes from being the land of fat-feet bunnies? They were sure a common footwear in the 70's for sure - if you wanted warm feet - they were it. I remember hearing from locals that if you wore them for 3 or 4 days straight (think Iditarod etc) your feet got wet from condensation - but they stayed warm.

 


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