The Tana Notch
|USGS Maps:||Bering Gl. D6, D7
McCarthy A7, A8, B8
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This backpacking trip begins in a valley so pretty you won’t want to leave. Start at the far end and make your way easily down the broad open valley floor that is blanketed in wispy cotton grass. Your progress will be slowed somewhat by the frequent stops required to take in the surrounding views of peaks and hanging glaciers.
Disappointment at leaving the valley behind will quickly give way to new delight as we make a gradual ascent to a turquoise green lake just below the first pass of the route. The lakeside perch gives commanding views of the valley behind.
The route continues in a never ending variety, moving from high lonely passes then dropping down to verdant valleys only to rise up again to the next wind-swept pass.
An easy glacier crossing adds to the excitement on this challenging backpacking adventure. Finally you will “shoot the notch”, climbing up two narrow passes in succession. After the final notch, drop down to a lovely lake perched up high with an awesome view of the mighty Tana River below. If you are looking for a rewarding Alaskan backpacking trip where few ever go then this is one to consider.
Special Features of This Route
Glaciers: Route involves glacier crossings. Some experience with glacier travel and crampons is advised.
Streams: This route involves stream crossing.
Terrain: Some steep scree slopes. The final descent to the Tana River involves some thick brush. Route finding skills are required. This is a trip for experienced wilderness travelers or as a guided adventure.
Kelly and Wayne--just a note to say "thanks" for helping to make our trip to Alaska a real treat. A fly-in trip to Wrangell-St Elias with a glacier hike and tour of the old copper mill was a great way to end a trip that included a cruise of Prince William Sound, a wonderful fishing experience in Katmai country and a tour of Denali National Park. Don't tell anyone--but there are two Texans that admit that Alaska is bigger than Texas. The good thing about a short trip to Wrangell-St. Elias is that I want to go back again! Hope to see you soon. .