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  #1  
Old 02-25-2019, 12:06 AM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Alaska:Kenai to Knik Glacier Flight 2-24-2019

Yesterday, was incredibly beautiful. Sunny, blue skies and had to look for clouds. Decided to take a little flight before my condition/annual inspection.

Took lots of photos, and wouldn't you know it; camera settings were all messed up. Photos didn't turn out at all. Today was cloudy in spots, decided to fly a shorter route and get some photos anyway.

Warning, this thread will have photos, more photos and lots more photos of what it looks like to fly from Kenai to Knik Glacier. The route I chose was about as safe as it could be. Tried to follow roads, known places where people snow machine, along the Alaska Rail Road system, and finally passes where help might be available. Once you see the mountains I was flying over you'll understand.

I used to fly Huey helicopters for the Alaska Army National Guard in the mid 1980's. Flew these routes several times.

The following photos will show different views of the same locations, going to and returning from. A few photos will be called Location Photos. Took a photo of my Garmin Aera 660 to show what /where at when taking some of them.

2300 RPM and 11,500 ft altitude! At turn around point climbed to 12,500 until starting my descent for Kenai.

Ok, yesterday's route was longer. Here is a screenshot after the flight was over:


Here are a couple of screenshots of todays shortened route. Note mileage difference?


Here is a little closer view:


Heading into the Kenai Mountains, following the Sterling Hwy, Hidden Lake is the frozen lake in the distance with Islands. Each Island has a campground, great place to camp, careful with kids though, steep sides to water and no beach in most places:


Might as well show where I'm headed. Can you see the higher mountains in the center way off in the distance? Will take a zig-zag pattern showing the different views on the way!


Today was cloudy and warmer, yesterday it was really cold.

This photo shows the Northern edge of the Harding Icefield. Already have a photo trip of this area from last year. Vlad stopped in and we flew it while he was here.:


Here is the Kenai Lake near Cooper Landing, Porcupine Island is visible:


Still following the Sterling Hwy. Turn to the North as it heads towards the Seward "Y". The Y is to the right not in view, however the straight-line you can see is the power lines to Anchorage, the Hwy you can now see is called the Seward Hwy, it travels along several lakes. The lake you can see in the distance is called Summit lake, yes, this is the high point of the road to Anchorage.



Here is a photo of my favorite mountain biking area. You can see the trail heading towards the main Resurrection Trail from Hope, Alaska to Cooper Landing. The section of the trail you can see is called Devils Pass. It is a ten mile hill climb to where it ties into the main trail! I had a bad accident several years ago, shattered my left collar bone into 32 pieces. Crashed about 2-miles from the trail head, had to walk out, could not control my bike when trying to ride it out!


This adventure is just getting started. More to follow!

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska

Last edited by mbauer : 02-25-2019 at 01:46 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2019, 12:37 AM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Knik Glacier Flight Cont.:

Here is a photo showing the Seward Hwy heading towards Seward. The Lake is called Trail Lake, the valley you can see is where the Alaska Rail Road goes, the Valley is called Grandview:


The prop leads the way; heading for Grandview and the railroad tracks:


Looking to the South and the city of Seward. Resurrection Bay is all lit up:


Heading towards Grandview still. Can see railroad tracks better. See what looks like a valley in the far distance? Will show photos of Prince William Sound as I get closer.


Misc. Mtns with Lake all the fog in the far distance is over the Gulf of Alaska:


Location photo #1. Not holding my altitude very good. Too busy taking photos....The green valley is Grandview as shown on the GPS.


View looking North from the PL#1 (photo location #1), Can see parts of Turnagin Arm:


View looking South East from PL#1; Foggy Gulf of Alaska far distance:


View of Turnagin Arm and far right side water is part of Prince William Sound (PWS). North/East from PL#1:


PL#1 view to the South/East once again foggy view of Gulf, far mtns hard to see are on way to Cordova/Yakutat.


Reached my ten photo limit, more to follow.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2019, 01:02 AM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Knik Glacier Flight Cont:

One more post before bedtime.

Looking North at Turnagin Arm where it meets the Seward HWY, Portage turn off and Grandview valley.


Looking North-East can see more of Prince William Sound (PWS);


Location Photo #2 (LP#2):


LP #2 Misc. Snow, Ice, Rock, and Mountains:


LP#2 looking North. Can see PWS near Whittier, Alaska, and to the far left upper Mountains are where I'm heading.


PL#2 looking East; PWS Islands and far mountains near Cordova:


Near Whittier. This photo shows Portage Pass, edge of PWS. See the white landing strip for Whittier? It is the white line that is at the base of the ridge that drops down to the water from the right, will show more photos of it in a few:


View of Seward Hwy, Cook Inlet and Mt Spur in the distance:


Turnagin Arm again, far mountains in the distance, Denali and Mt Foraker (hard to see in the haze):


Portage and Whittier photos next.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2019, 01:37 AM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Knik Glacier Flight Cont:

Decided to do one more post tonight.

This photo shows Portage pass, small V-notch between PWS and Portage Lake. I've gone through the bottom of this pass one winter in a Huey, had to watch both sides of rotor blades, ceiling was 30ft going through there that time. I was a WO1 at the time and just the co-pilot! PIC wanted to check on his sailboat, by the time we left it was close to zero-zero vis!

Then when flying my RV up, had to go through it again with 100ft ceiling. Rain and low clouds were not my idea of a good time. It was the only pass open that day! Almost landed on the airfield, but knew that if I could see daylight on the other side I was good to go. Opens up over Portage Lake, so no mountains to worry about.

I've heard that there are more airplanes parked in this pass than any other, I've seen the crash sites to and from this pass! Best to know it by heart!!


Portage Lake, edge on the left of lake has a visitor center, road from Anchorage allows driving to it. Nice side trip on drive to Kenai:


You can see from this photo how Portage Pass allows to go from PWS to Turnagin Arm. Still see the V-notch, PWS and to the left Turnagin Arm.


Here is a closeup of the pass again. The blue water heading North is part of PWS and is called the College Fiords, Harvard, Yale and Harriman glaciers feed it.


Destination mountains located upper right:


Blackstone Bay (edge of cowling) and the inlet to the right is for Kings Bay, once again view of College Fiord to the North:


LP#3:


Photo of Kings Bay from LP#3:


Center of this view shows the way to Valdez in the far distance:


Getting ready to show town of Whittier before doing a turn to head along Turnagin Arm, more photos to follow.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
__________________
Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska

Last edited by mbauer : 02-25-2019 at 02:01 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2019, 10:42 PM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Knik Glacier Flight Cont.

A few more photos.

Once again the foggy Gulf of Alaska from a little farther North and East:


Here is a photo of Portage Lake bottom, the road to Whittier is shown between the two mountains, there is a tunnel that the Alaska Rail Road "shares" with vehicle traffic. When the trains are not running you can drive to Whittier instead of taking the train now.

In the far distance the valley you can see is where Upper and Lower Lake George is at, the mountains to the far right in the background are the destination:


Next photo was taken while heading North and looking to the West. This is Turnagin Arm that leads to anchorage. Shallow and with a very fast moving tide. When it heads in you actually can see the wave or what is called a "Bore Tide". Wind Surfers like to ride it!


This photo shows the town of Whittier. The town is actually the twin buildings, everybody that lives there stays in the buildings. Note that you can see the airfield better, it extends out into the water.:


A little different view of Kings Bay:


Destination Mountains once again to the right in the background.


Whittier again. You can see the tunnel entrance and the airstrip well in this photo:


Here is a photo of Portage Lake, you can see the road leading to it and heading towards Turnagin Arm to the left is the Seward Hwy heading towards Kenai.:


Here is a view of the mountains above Eagle River Valley. The rocky looking ones in the center of the photo. Will see them several times again, they are incredibly beautiful.:


Destination mountains to the right, they tower above all the others in the area!:


Ok, more photos to follow in the next post.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska

Last edited by mbauer : 02-25-2019 at 10:45 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2019, 11:11 PM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Knik Glacier Flight Cont.:

Here is a photo of the Seward Hwy as it climbs the first mountain pass heading towards, Seward and Kenai:


Traveling along the South side of Turnagin Arm in this photo, you can see the shoreline. Looking directly at Kenai in the far distance (dark flat land).


The valley, located in the lower center, is Girdwood, the local ski town. The valley leads towards Crow Creek Pass, this pass leads towards Eagle River valley.


Eagle River Mountains again:


More of Prince William Sound, this view shows Passage Canal that leads to/from Whittier.:


Once rough place to land without skis!


Another photo looking towards Valdez.:


Here is a photo of the Eagle River Mountains, Crow Creek Pass is the pass in the center of the photo. In the summer they hold a foot race that covers over 26-miles and several creeks.


Destination mountains are getting closer:


In this photo you can Lower Lake George and the end of Knik Glacier in the far distance. Lower Lake George had to be blasted to stop the lake from filling up and then overflowing the ice and earthen natural dam. Used to flood Matanuska Valley.


More photos to follow.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2019, 11:42 PM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Knik Glacier Flight Cont.:

In some of these photos you can see that I'm using a small camera. Wanted to take my good Nikon with zoom lens, but both batteries are dead/won't hold a charge. Had to order some new ones.

As you can see from these photos different fog/cloud/haze levels in the air. Applied carb heat when climbing out from Kenai, only way to keep the engine running smooth! Used it for the duration of this flight.

Here is a photo without zoom of Lake George area:


Another view of PWS looking directly at Cordova-it is not visible but in the far, far distance.


Good view of Lake George, you can see how small my camera is of the silhouette on the wing:


Probably tired of looking at PWS, but, here is another photo.


Almost at the Destination Mountains. They don't look so big now! Lake George Glacier in fore ground:


Eagle Glacier and far distance a look at Denali:


Looking towards the North, far mountain range is Hatcher Pass/Talkeetna mountains. Hatcher Pass is North of Wasilla.


Upper Lake George Glacier in fore ground, lower Lake George Glacier near center with a slight offset to the right:


Zoom of the lower Lake George Glacier as it turns and twists from the upper snow/ice fields.:


Not done yet, still have several photos to go......

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska

Last edited by mbauer : 02-25-2019 at 11:45 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2019, 12:32 AM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Knik Glacier Flight Cont.:

The Fjord to the left is Harriman Fjord. Harvard and Yale Glaciers are behind the mountain that is centered on Harriman Fjord. Sorry, did not get any photos of them, a different flight will be needed.


From 11,500 ft you can see quite a distance. Here is a photo showing Prince William Sound again. What looks like a 4 (5)-way intersection as we look to the East is showing Passage Canal entrance to the East, to the South or right center of photo is Kings Bay, the channel to the left is College Fjord, the water to the West or right side where the lone peak hides it leads to Whittier.


Rough place to land #2:


Harriman Glacier in lower part of photo:


Well if you're still reading, by this point you probably know that this is another photo of what I've been calling the destination Mountains. Not sure of the real name...


Upper Lake George Photo at base of mountain ridge, on the other side of this ridge is Eklutna Lake, where Anchorage gets its water supply.


Slight zoom looking at the peaks that comprise the destination "guide" of this flight.


Looking west now, you can see Mt Susitna in the distance. It is commonly called Sleeping Lady. Very distinct look in the summer from any of the hiking trails above Anchorage. The mountain looks like a Sleeping Lady resting her head on her arm.


Like to call this one, " River of Ice". Not sure of the real name...It dumps into Harriman Fjord:


Looking to the N-East:


Just about to the turn-around point. Lots more photos to add....

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska
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  #9  
Old 02-26-2019, 01:03 AM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Knik Glacier Flight Cont:

Confluence of Lake George and Knik Glacier. Knik Glacier is to the right, can see parts of Lower Lake George. Peak is hiding most of Lake George. Outflow from Lake George is along the base of the mountain to the left. Knik Glacier water and Lake George water combine here to create the Knik River. The mountains to the front are called Forth of July.


One more view of the Destination guide that brought us here. These mountains feed Knik Glacier, you can see the rivers of ice as they flow downhill.


Another view of the River of Ice from earlier, still looks like a rough place to land in this area:


Looking to the East and at Prince William Sound again:


Long Glacier to the left is part of Knik Glacier, other side of ridge hides the other part of ice that creates Knik Glacier:


I really like this peak, notice it has been in several photos, the pictures just don't do it justice! Very impressive to see it live!


Same peak with no zoom.


Another view of Lower Lake George Glacier showing the upper part.


Lower Lake George/Knik Glacier looking to the N-West:


Another view looking West at Sleeping Lady.


Still more photos to add...But not tonight, have some chores to do, before sleep. Will try to add last photos tomorrow after work.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska

Last edited by mbauer : 02-26-2019 at 01:07 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2019, 01:34 AM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461
Default Vlad Visited Knik Glacier

Here is a link to Vlad's visit to Knik Glacier:
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...d.php?t=162411

His link has a map and great photos!

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska
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