by Phillip Manning ~ November 4th, 2013
On Friday evening, Chris Dunn presented “From Glaciers to the Sea” to a standing-room-only audience at the Roadhouse in Talkeetna. The slide show featured images from Dunn’s pack raft journey from the glacial headwaters of the Susitna River to Anchorage.
Dunn says that the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project prompted him to make the journey. In a write-up of the trip, he says that he wanted to see the entire river before it is potentially “altered for the rest of [his] lifetime and beyond.”
Chris Dunn tackled his float of the Susitna in three legs. In September of last year he hiked to the glacial headwaters and floated to the Denali Highway. This summer he began at the highway and floated through the middle section of the river to Talkeetna, passing through the proposed dam site and Devil’s Canyon along the way. This September, he completed the journey by setting off from Talkeetna and floating down past the river delta to Anchorage. Dunn says the most difficult stretch of the journey was Devil’s Canyon. He did not to attempt to float much of the canyon, which contains areas of Class 6 or “impassable” rapids, but instead hiked along the steep walls near the river.
Chris Dunn brought a camera along for the journey, and snapped, by his reckoning, hundreds of photos along the way. It is from those photos that he composed the slide presentation. He has made his account of the journey, including the slideshow, available online at groundtruthtreakking.org