Backcountry Pilot • Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

Not necessarily information about airstrips or airports, but more general info about a greater area or a route of flight.
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Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

Hi all,

I have about two weeks of vacation that I can take here in the next couple weeks. I'm really pushing for a flight up the "trench" to Alaska, if I don't do it now, I'm not sure when I'll get another shot. I'm thinking that September 15 is my drop dead date for departure, past that time I worry that the weather may start to turn south. Have any of you flown that route this time of year? What are your thoughts?

My proposed route is: Afton WY, Kalispell MT, Cranbrook BC, Prince George BC, Mackenzie BC, Watson Lake BC, Whitehorse YT, Northway AK, Merrill Field AK.

P.S. Anyone want to caravan?
Last edited by bushpilot490 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

Done a bunch of September trips. Most have had perfect wx. Some have been pretend VFR because of smoke. And others downright soggy in the rain.

It'll be what it'll be. Always have Plan B locked and loaded for go/no-go, route, and when ya gotta be somewhere.

Gump
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

What Gump said. I've seen some ugly cold weather in the interior in September, but most years it's pretty good.

By the way, don't look for Whitehorse in BC, it's actually in the Yukon Territory.

MTV
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

mtv wrote:By the way, don't look for Whitehorse in BC, it's actually in the Yukon Territory.

MTV


Ha ha thanks #-o
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

September is generally a good time to go. I'd pack a bit of extra fuel just in case...but that's just me :)

PM me if ya need any info on the route. I flew the sched up the lake to Tsay Kay and Ft. Ware and places in between for several years.
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

northernguy wrote:
PM me if ya need any info on the route. I flew the sched up the lake to Tsay Kay and Ft. Ware and places in between for several years.


Will do, thanks!
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

GumpAir wrote:Done a bunch of September trips. Most have had perfect wx. Some have been pretend VFR because of smoke. And others downright soggy in the rain.

It'll be what it'll be. Always have Plan B locked and loaded for go/no-go, route, and when ya gotta be somewhere.

Gump


Same here as well... and even into October, but then fuel planning needs a little more diligence. Some of the most spectacular scenery has been on the fall trips 8)
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

So.... would anyone be interested in a caravan?
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

bushpilot490 wrote:So.... would anyone be interested in a caravan?


Interested, absolutely! Available, no :(

If you run in to weather issues up along Williston lake, try to stop over at Fort Graham. A gentleman named Jordy runs an outfitting lodge and is welcoming to aviators who are passing through.
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

Thanks for the heads up! Just looked at Fort Grahame on foreflight. 5,000' of gravel. Sure would be nice if you needed it.
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

Well I would love to go. I could annual my plane in Afton before the departure, it's a husky. I don't have anything during the two weeks post Sept 15. Likely hood of me going 15%.
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

The trench is great with good weather, but if its closed in or too windy take the alternate rout out of Prince George through Ft St. Nelson and Ft St. John, BC --- plenty of fuel and good places to stay.
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Re: Drop dead date for flying up the "trench" to Alaska

Re: Whitehorse

When I flew my 1939 Piper J3 to Alaska, with an overnight at Whitehorse, I made a call home from a pay phone just outside of a hotel bar close to the airport. Just as two fairly soused middle aged ladies walked out the door I made the mistake of saying that I was at Whitehorse BC. Well, one of them turned me around and very firmly and lividly informed me that they did not live in BC but in the "Territory" The did so with the attitude that made me feel as though they felt they were totally separate from Canada. I quickly thanked them for the correction as they set down on the steps to smoke and maybe sober up a bit. When I hung up and started back to my room I got a second reprimand without them even turning around.

Second advise about overnighting in Whitehorse - do not choose the cheapest place where there are lots of big rig trucks parked. The rigs are left running all night long - at least they were in that early May.

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