1
Alsek River Expedition
Alsek River Expedition
DATE: 2013/03/05::
2
Turnback Canyon Helicopter Portage - Alsek River - Ride of the Valkyries
Turnback Canyon Helicopter Portage - Alsek River - Ride of the Valkyries
DATE: 2012/10/02::
3
2012 Alsek River Adventure
2012 Alsek River Adventure
DATE: 2012/09/15::
4
Alsek River
Alsek River
DATE: 2012/12/06::
5
Tatshenshini & Lower Alsek River Trip
Tatshenshini & Lower Alsek River Trip
DATE: 2014/08/20::
6
Alsek River Rafting Expedition
Alsek River Rafting Expedition
DATE: 2010/10/06::
7
Alsek River
Alsek River
DATE: 2008/09/19::
8
Melting Glaciers - Climate Change and the Alsek River
Melting Glaciers - Climate Change and the Alsek River
DATE: 2008/08/04::
9
Auto Draw 2: Alsek River At Sunset,  British Columbia, Canada
Auto Draw 2: Alsek River At Sunset, British Columbia, Canada
DATE: 2010/03/24::
10
Canoeing the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers
Canoeing the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers
DATE: 2010/09/16::
11
Alsek River - Rudy
Alsek River - Rudy's Strip
DATE: 2007/09/17::
12
Auto Draw 2: Alsek River, Yukon, Canada
Auto Draw 2: Alsek River, Yukon, Canada
DATE: 2010/03/24::
13
Running the Tatshenshini-Alsek River  1994 "Could it be"
Running the Tatshenshini-Alsek River 1994 "Could it be"
DATE: 2012/09/06::
14
Auto Draw 2: Alsek River Valley, Alaska
Auto Draw 2: Alsek River Valley, Alaska
DATE: 2010/03/24::
15
Lowell Lake, Alsek River, Goatherd Hike, Kluane National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lowell Lake, Alsek River, Goatherd Hike, Kluane National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site
DATE: 2013/02/06::
16
Cat in the Washing Machine Rapid Alsek River 2011
Cat in the Washing Machine Rapid Alsek River 2011
DATE: 2011/08/19::
17
Tatshenshini/Alsek Rivers
Tatshenshini/Alsek Rivers
DATE: 2013/08/31::
18
Auto Draw 2: Alsek River Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Auto Draw 2: Alsek River Valley, British Columbia, Canada
DATE: 2010/03/24::
19
Tatshenshini Alsek  River Trip Slideshow 2010.m4v
Tatshenshini Alsek River Trip Slideshow 2010.m4v
DATE: 2010/09/05::
20
Alsek River, Lowell Lake, Lowell Glacier, Kluane National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Alsek River, Lowell Lake, Lowell Glacier, Kluane National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site
DATE: 2013/02/06::
21
Spectacular helicopter flight over Lowell Glacier and the Alsek River in Kluane National Park
Spectacular helicopter flight over Lowell Glacier and the Alsek River in Kluane National Park
DATE: 2012/07/30::
22
Alsek River Trail by bike
Alsek River Trail by bike
DATE: 2012/08/23::
23
Alsek River Alaska
Alsek River Alaska
DATE: 2013/09/07::
24
Landing Rudy
Landing Rudy's Strip - Alsek River
DATE: 2013/12/12::
25
Upper Alsek River
Upper Alsek River
DATE: 2010/09/07::
26
Entering the Alsek River
Entering the Alsek River
DATE: 2012/09/17::
27
Walker Glacier Alsek River August 2011
Walker Glacier Alsek River August 2011
DATE: 2011/08/18::
28
Landing my Cessna 182Q at Alsek River A57, Yakutat, Alaska, USA. VFR Flight.
Landing my Cessna 182Q at Alsek River A57, Yakutat, Alaska, USA. VFR Flight.
DATE: 2009/09/21::
29
Haines Junction, Alsek and Kaskawulsh Rivers
Haines Junction, Alsek and Kaskawulsh Rivers
DATE: 2013/10/19::
30
East Alsek Spawning Salmon
East Alsek Spawning Salmon
DATE: 2014/10/20::
31
Alsek 2013
Alsek 2013
DATE: 2013/09/11::
32
Tatshenshini River - Camp at Melt Creek
Tatshenshini River - Camp at Melt Creek
DATE: 2012/09/17::
33
Outdoor Adventures in Northern British Columbia
Outdoor Adventures in Northern British Columbia
DATE: 2014/06/18::
34
River vs Glacier
River vs Glacier
DATE: 2012/07/06::
35
Tatshenshini River Trip Slideshow, Aug 2007
Tatshenshini River Trip Slideshow, Aug 2007
DATE: 2007/09/05::
36
FSX - FTX Southern Alaska - Ice Angels HD 720p
FSX - FTX Southern Alaska - Ice Angels HD 720p
DATE: 2013/04/10::
37
Tatshenshini Rafting  **HD**
Tatshenshini Rafting **HD**
DATE: 2010/07/31::
38
Alsek
Alsek
DATE: 2007/08/10::
39
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/15::
40
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/22::
41
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/15::
42
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/14::
43
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/15::
44
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/18::
45
Tatshenshini Grizzlies 1
Tatshenshini Grizzlies 1
DATE: 2007/08/28::
46
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/18::
47
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/15::
48
Kluane  Wrangell | World Heritage Site US
Kluane Wrangell | World Heritage Site US
DATE: 2015/02/26::
49
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/21::
50
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
alsek and tatshenshini rivers alaskacanada
DATE: 2013/06/18::
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Alsek River
Confluence of Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers2.JPG
Confluence of the Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers
Origin Kluane National Park and Reserve
60°38′46″N 137°48′26″W / 60.64611°N 137.80719°W / 60.64611; -137.80719
Mouth Pacific Ocean at Dry Bay, Yakutat City and Borough, Alaska
59°07′40″N 138°37′14″W / 59.12778°N 138.62056°W / 59.12778; -138.62056 (Alsek mouth)Coordinates: 59°07′40″N 138°37′14″W / 59.12778°N 138.62056°W / 59.12778; -138.62056 (Alsek mouth)
Basin countries US, Canada
Source elevation 600 meters (2,000 ft)
Mouth elevation sea level

The Alsek River (/ˈælˌsɛk/; Tlingit Aalseix̱) is a wilderness river flowing from Yukon into Northern British Columbia and into Alaska.[1] The surrounding area from the Western edge of the Alsek to East of the East Alsek is known to locals as Dry Bay.

Course[edit]

Location of Alsek River

It starts at the confluence of the Dezadeash and Kaskawulsh rivers in Kluane National Park and Reserve. After flowing south into the northwestern tip of British Columbia, it is joined by the Tatshenshini River in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park. It reaches the Pacific Ocean at Dry Bay, in the Gulf of Alaska, south of Yakutat, Alaska, close to the northern end of the Alaska Panhandle. Although the river is navigable by kayak or rubber raft in its northern reaches, it rapidly becomes unnavigable—for any but the most experienced and skilled kayakers—at Turnback Canyon.

On older maps, the Alsek river is labeled as the Tatshenshini and vice versa. Some Yukon First Nation elders also refer to the river as the Tatshenshini.

The river flows next to the Lowell glacier which has sometimes blocked off the river and created a large lake behind it, "Neoglacial Lake Alsek." The last such blockage took place in 1850; its release created a massive flood, washing away everything in its path on the way to the Pacific.[2]

The river carries a lot of silt from the Alsek lake/glacier, which contributes to the river's low temperature.

The Alsek and nearby East Alsek rivers were at one time connected, and the old river bed can still be made out on some maps.

The Alsek glacier contacts the Grand Plateau glacier, which faces the shoreline. Also in the same general area are the Doame foothills and Doame River.

Alsek River (in distance) near junction with Sugden Creek inside Kluane National Park

History[edit]

The first known kayak descent of Turnback Canyon was by Walt Blackadar, who ran the canyon solo on August 25, 1971. He wrote about his trip for Sports Illustrated.[3] "This has been a day!," he wrote in his journal. "I want any other kayaker or would-be expert to read my words well. The Alsek Gorge is unpaddleable!" Despite this sincere warning from a man who apparently felt lucky to be alive, groups of expert kayakers have successfully run Turnback Canyon since then[citation needed]. A prominent mountain which overlooks the Alsek was named Mount Blackadar in his honor.

The portion of the river inside Kluane National Park has been designated a Canadian Heritage River.

In 1958, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake centered near Lituya bay significantly changed the lay of the land.[4] The earthquake caused the Doame River and East Alsek River to join together.

Fishing[edit]

The Alsek and East Alsek rivers are a part of the Yakutat area limited entry set gillnet fishery.[5] Both rivers produce King, Silver, and Sockeye commercially. Chum and Pink salmon can also be caught, but are not generally sought after due to their relative lack of worth/quality. These two rivers can be characterized as low volume fisheries, while the Alsek river in particular produces particularly high quality salmon due to its low temperature. The Alsek's silt content also prevents the sun from damaging the fish.

The area also supports subsistence and sport fishing. There are multiple local sport fishing, sight-seeing, hunting, and animal watching lodges

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Cassidy, Jim, and Dunlap, Dan (1999). World Whitewater: A Global Guide for River Runners. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-011962-7
  • Embick, Andrew (1994). Fast and Cold: A Guide to Alaska Whitewater. Valdez Alpine Books. ISBN 1-56044-269-7.
  • Lyman, Russ, et al. (2000). The Complete Guide to the Tatshenshini River Including the Upper Alsek River. Haines, Alaska: Cloudburst Productions. ISBN 0-9728122-1-0
  • Watters, Ron (1995). Never Turn Back: The Life of Whitewater Pioneer Walt Blackadar. The Great Rift Press. ISBN 1-877625-02-7 (hardcover) ISBN 1-877625-03-5 (paperback)

External links[edit]

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