Kodiak Goat • Day 2 • 10/2/17
WELCOME SLAP IN THE FACE, part 2
A new day - we woke up, still wet, and began to prepare for our pack up into the mountains where we hoped to find goats. Our plan was to head up a valley to the Southwest, toward a small alpine lake and the two lone billies we had seen right after landing. The next several hours we were surprised with one stream crossing after another, until we were finally faced with one there was no way to cross other than wading. The whole valley was draining into the lake with streams doubled in size from the previous day's storm.
Here is where I met my first regret of the trip - ultralight packable waders that you slip on in the mountains for just sucha crossing. How could I have forgotten this essential item?! So frustrating. We spent close to 2 hours chucking small boulders into the river to try to build a viable crossing. We failed. Has anyone ever done that?
With no other recourse, we abandoned our plan and headed up the valley to the North, thinking that eventually we would find a crossing and double back. Alders and bushed are a %38#@!! Especially when you're packing both a bow and rifle on your pack :) As the day waned, doubling back looked less and less attractive and I suggested it might be better to keep pushing ahead up the valley we were in. If we didn't see anything, I thought we could probably go around and over the mountain, eventually getting back to our original destination. As we finally got up to a "bench" where there was a waterfall (above which we could finally cross the raging stream) we spotted goats on the mountain side ahead of us.
Encouraged, we decided to stay on this side and set up our spike camp. We watched a few goats not too far up the mountain, then at about 7:30pm Peter noticed a billy making his way across the scree rock field above us, probably on his evening routine. Very tempted to make a last-light run up the mountain at the goat, Peter opted for safety/wisdom and chose to wait till the next day.
cont. in comments
@vortexoptics | @kuiu_official | @huntervids | @lathropandsonsboots | @goatalliance | @thealaskalife
Photos @casey.hunts & @drakekelch