Protected: Bremner – Tebay Hike

28, March 28th, 2008 by Carl D

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

27 Responses to “Protected: Bremner – Tebay Hike”

  1. Thanks Carl — this is a terrific idea.

    Geoff and I have been spending the winter finally taking the time to explore the White Mountains (some evidence and a picture of me, hopefully the link works: ) .

    The upcoming Trebay trip has been a great excuse to buy more gear, so between this and the winter hiking, we are out of storage space and thinking of hanging stuff from the ceiling.

    That all said, I’m very excited about the trip and would love to share gear lists and any suggestions on things that work really well for them.

    I look forward to meeting everyone– virtually, and in person.


  2. Hey Jodee

    Great to hear from you!

    That’s a cool pic – looks pretty hard core to me. Hiking in the snow is way cool.

    I hear you on buying gear. I’m already trying to decide what new gear I absolutely MUST HAVE and what new gear I can manage without. I got rid of a ton of stuff last year, and it’s embarrassing how much I still have.

    Anything in particular you’re considering?



  3. Yeah, we’re doing another winter attempt on Mount Washington this weekend, Mount Garfield on the Sunday. They’re only 4,000′-ers, but the weather here is non-trivial. We had to turn back from our Mt Washington attempt three weeks ago due to high winds, despite covering every piece of exposed flesh.

    As to gear, both Geoff and I have a variety of softshells now, and hardshells, already planning on getting another grizzly-proof container, and just got a really light tarp (10oz) for cooking under in the rain… So for me, it’s just deciding (!!) what to bring, I hope that I don’t need to acquire much.

    I’m thinking that I should pack like I’m going to the Pacific Northwest or Scotland: very dependable raingear, possibly a light softshell, solid waterproof boots, gaitors that go to the knees, and anything that holds up well to wet weather (like pack the fleece, not the light down sweater). I’m leaning towards bringing the more robust stuff (like the Goretex shell jacket rather than my Marmot Precip) even though it’s a few ounces heavier. Would love any insights.

    And would love to leave behind the crampons in favor of other lighter traction (have Stabilicers, and have you seen the Kahtoola Microspikes??–they are really cool), but not if it is a safety matter.

    I will confess also, that I am working through how to maximize my entertainment material (like books) with minimum weight πŸ˜€ Or we will need some really good story tellers in our group. THAT would be lightest.

    All this, and it’s still only April…


  4. Hey Jodee

    I hear the winds on Washington are something else. Be careful up there!

    A tarp will be good. I bring one for the group, but with a full group (6 of us), a 2nd one would be great!

    A tarp will be excessive – no need at all to bring a 2nd tarp. We’ll hardly ever use one, nevermind a 2nd one. you can carry my tarp if you’d rather. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Yeah, I would go with a fleece over a down sweater. And I’d be surprised if it’s cold enough to warrant a down sweater, anyway. A marmot Precip jacket is probably OK. I do find a bit of variation in that line of gear, from piece to piece. If you have a good one, it should be OK. Heavier stuff is good, but the main thing is just how dry it keeps you. I have an Arcteryx jacket that’s bone dry, but heavier .. my Marmot Precip jacket works well though, and often I carry that. I’m not sure what I’ll bring on this trip. I doubt we’ll need crampons. I’m going to go over the trip route again, but my understanding is we won’t need them. Something small like Yaktrax might be helpful, but not imperative, if you have good boots without worn soles, IMO.

    I bring a book, and that’s about it. I’ve taken my ipod once before, but I’d rather not. Just hope we get good weather and will be outside most of the time, with no need for either. :0

    A good rain cover for your pack is a good idea. Gaiters I can go either way with .. depends on your boots and rain gear, really. Lots of new rain pants have built in gaiters, and those work fine.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to bring a softshell AND a rain jacket .. I’d go with one or the other .. and for me, on a trip like this, I’ll bring a shell like a Precip or my A’T jacket.



  5. Hi Carl,

    It was a great weekend in New England, especially in New Hampshire, where we took the opportunity to get in one last winter hike for the season – before the warmer weather turns the remaining snow to slush.
    Mount Washington, home to wind speeds of up to 231mph – the highest recorded anywhere on earth – beckoned.
    The Tuckerman Ravine and Lion’s Head trail rises 4256 feet to 6288 feet over a distance of 5 miles, with the last 1200, feet a rocky, icy climb, in a little over 1 mile.
    Out and back, carrying about 25lbs of winter gear and wearing 4.5lbs of mountaineering boots and crampons on each foot, took a little over 8 hours. Once again, the Lion’s Head winter route provided plenty of technical challenge, overcome by toe-pointing and a deftly swung ice axe.
    Wind speeds at the summit were light at 33mph, with gusts up to 56mph and temperatures a barmy 22F.
    A 32-mile drive along the Kangamangus Highway (a misnamed narrow twisty two-way road) and we were at the Franconia Ridge side of the White Mountains and set up after eight hours sleep (on the floor of our host’s cabin) for day 2 – a 12 miles round trip hike up Mount Garfield.
    Garfield’s grade is less aggressive than Washington, 4500 feet, rising from 1400 feet at the road and requires a one-mile walk-in along a forest road before the trail begins.
    Five miles later, after a couple of rock-hopping stream crossings, tangling with the close-packed tops of fir trees poking through the snow and post-holing (sinking up to the thigh in softening snow) more than 20 times, the summit and its old fire tower base offers spectacular views.

    Photos of all our winter trips are on Picasa at:

    I blog about my life here at: (An Englishman in Boston).

    It would be interesting to discuss food at some point. I know calorie intact is an individual matter, but in general how much does your 12-day supply of food weigh and what calorie intake have you found meets your needs?

    You can see my mug shot here:


  6. Hey Jeff,

    Sounds likie your trip was a blast. I’ll have to look over the blog and other links when I get a minute. Right now I’m playing catch uyp for 10 days of no internet. It’s amazing how much email piles up!

    As for food, etc, I can’t tell you what it weighs .. I do end up cutting down a lot on longer trips though, to keep the weight down. And just know ahead of time, any excess food you bring along will be eaten by Sergei, the Russian devourer .. don’t leave any food out of your site for long. Especially desserts!

    I think 2 lbs per day is a good average of food.



  7. Hi Guys,

    I have just read the blogs and thought I should say Hi. Sounds like everyone is getting excited about the Alaskan adventure, I know I am. As Carl mentioned I am an Aussie living in Mallorca. My wife and I have spent the last 2 years restoring a very old stone Villa in the beautiful old town of Soller, on the north coast of the island.

    I am a keen treker and have been to many parts of the world seeking untouched wilderness areas. I arrive in Anchorage on the 26th July and will spend a week fly fishing with some mates from Aus.

    Carl I will need to buy some better wet weather gear and a tent as half my gear is in storage in Sydney. Perhaps you could recommend a store in Anchorage as I will have time between the 4th and 7th August to do some re equipping. As for food and Bear proof containers, they are also on the list, so any suggestions will be very welcome.

    I am delighted to hear that crampons will not be necessary as mine have a habit of attacking the rest of my gear when not in use, I think it’s a jealousy thing.

    Geoff and Jodee, I like the photos you sent on your Mt Washington hike, it sure looked cold. Lets hope we have warmer weather than that.

    If anyone has any recommendations on the newest and “Lightest” tent it would be much appreciated.

    Talk soon and I look forward to meeting you all. Lets have some fun.


  8. Hey Mike,

    Great to hear from you, man, thanks for jumping in. The villa in Soller sounds awesome.

    Regarding gear, here are 2 stores in Anchorage:



    They’re within a block of one another. You can get freeze-dried food there, and other backcountry staples. There is also a grocery store, Carrs, one block west on northern lights blvde. If anyone has a bearproof container for food, you can bring it along, if not, we can rent them from the bush pilot. I have 3, and will probably pick up another before summer, so unless you want one for further hikes, I wouldn’t worry about getting one.

    If you only need a tent, I can loan you one if you want. If you want to pick one up in town, it depends on what size you want – I looked at the Mountain Hardwear Sprite the other day and am tempted to get one myself – it’s a newer version of the PCT 1, which I already own, but it’s nearly a pound lighter. Depends how comfortable you are in a small one person tent – some people like a larger 2 person tent. I also have a Mountain Hardwear Approach and a Skyledge which are small 2 person tents if you want one of those.

    I laughed at your comments on the crampons – I know EXACTLY what you mean, I had a tent almost eaten by a pair of crampons one time.

    Oh, by the way, to everyone, the bush pilots said they can’t fly us in on the morning of the 8th until 2pm, or we could fly in on the previous night, the 7th, at around 7pm. Normally what we do is drive all day to McCarthy (Mxy), stay the night there, and fly in the following morning, after breakfast. It’s about 8 hours travel time from Anchorage to Mxy. If you guys want, we can fly in that same evening, after getting to Mxy. It’d mean we’ll arrive, quickly pack the last of our gear, and fly straight in. Or, we can stay in the cabins that night in Mxy, and then fly in the following day around 2pm.

    I’m easy either way. There is a public use cabin at Bremner Mines, though it’s not reservable, which means someone could be there, in which case we’d camp in the area. If the cabin’s empty, we could spend the night there. Either post your thoughts here or send me an email and let me know what you’d prefer. If nobody has a preference, I’ll just decide something and let you know.

    Also, I have a pdf file of the route which I’ll upload and link to from here so you can guys and gals can read over it. Sergei already has it, but it’ll be good for everyone else to read it over.

    I’m jazzed about this trip, and look forward to meeting you all – definitely sounds like a great group of folks (speaking of which, Sergei and Svetlana need to make a post about themselves here soon, or risk a fine – fines, for those of you who don’t know, are paid in chocolate – second fines also incur a weight penalty; 2 pieces of gear from my pack). I don’t have photos of Svetlana, but I can post a photo of Sergei if he doesn’t introduce himself soon. πŸ™‚

    I think that’s about it for now. Thanks again Mike, it’ll be great to meet you, and hike with an Aussie for a change – so far it’s been all Russians, Germans, and Texans. By the way, everyone, Mike will be our designated geology expert, so any and all questions pertaining to rocks can be asked of him. πŸ™‚

    Thanks folks.



  9. Hey Folks,

    I don’t have the pdf up yet, but here’s the article backpacker mag ran a few years back on this trip. They hiked on past Bremner to Iceberg Lake, and they hiked in the opposite direction – but this quote (my bold and underlining) sums up the region well, IMO:

    ‘But the biggest obstacle is simply the footing: steep sidehills, thick vegetation, and unstable talus. Only about 10 miles of this trip could be called easy terrain.The reward is a remarkable trek through an unspoiled mountain environment in the world’s biggest wilderness.’

    Here’s their article.



  10. Hey Folks,

    Just as a quick afterthought – to let you know, I won’t filter water on this trip (or virtually anywhere in Wrangell St. Elias, so if you’re uncomfortable with drinking unfiltered water, let me know, and be sure to bring a filter – I have one if you need one. Nobody on my trips has filtered water in this area, and they’ve never gotten sick, as far as I know. Nor do I know anyone who does filter water here, or heard of anyone getting sick. But, different people have different tolerances and different ideas, so feel free to treat the water if you want, or discuss it further with me. Just a headsup.



  11. Hi Carl,

    Thanks for the information on equipment shops, and for the offer of a tent. I will buy one as I need one here in Europe anyway but thanks for the offer. Re your question about the departure time, I would definetly like to leave earlier rather than later but I’m relaxed either way.

    I thought the backpacker magazine article was terrific, especially the Satellite image of the route. After seeing it I decided to do a few extra training exercises in the local mountains here. Any way that’s the intention.

    We have had 2 days of rain here in Mallorca and the drought seems to be broken. Everyone is happy, including the plants. We will not get any more rain here until late August or early Sept. A bit like Australia really.

    Take care everyone


  12. Jodee

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the intro –looking forward to meeting you in person!

    If you’re going to REI and looking for good value, I highly recommend the REI Quarterdome. It comes in one-person & two-person version. 2-person is just under 4lbs. Benefit is it has double wall, really easy to set up and the 2-person has two doors & vestibules. Geoff & I have been using the quarterdome for a couple years now for backpacking. It’s not especially spacious, but none of the double-walled tents at this weight are.

    Also, I love the 6 Moons tents–we ran into a fellow hiking in Yosemite with a two-person version, it is REALLY light and very nicely designed. Single wall, but our fellow hiker claimed very little moisture management issues. I would buy this tent if I was buying a tent today. It’s kind of a tarp-tent combo. Means that it is super light and more spacious than any of the double-walled tents. I haven’t seen it in any stores, but it is available online here in the States.

    All that said, I have been really impressed with everything that I’ve bought from Mountain Hardware, so I don’t think you can go wrong with Carl’s suggestions either.

    My 2 cents πŸ˜‰


  13. Hey Jodee,

    Thanks for the input – I’ve looked at the Six Moons online too .. they seem pretty nice – I’d like to try one before I send $300. I think Svetlana was looking at one too. I doubt it’s more spacious than a regular double-wall tent though – maybe a small tent, perhaps.

    The new Mtn Hardweat Skyledge is even better than my one – roomier, lighter, and a few other adjustments make it great – my only criticism of that tent is it’s a little short – Mike’s 6’1″ I think, which would be tight in the one I have, but OK in the newer design I think.

    I’m not a fan of too much REI gear – their durability is questionable, IMO. For the price of the Quarterdome, I’d want something a little higher end than their quality. It’s definitely light and functional though.

    hey Mike,

    Glad to hear you got some rain over there. Wow, that’s a long haul between soaks, if you don’t get any real rain until Aug/Sept. Hopefully you’ll bring some of that sunny weather with you over here!

    If you have any questions on the gear/tents, etc, I’ll try to help, if I can.

    Also, thanks for the vote to go in the evening we arrive in Mxy. If the other folks here don’t vote one way or the other soon enough, I’ll just go ahead and plan something anyway (hint, hint everyone) πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Take it easy



  14. Sergei

    Hi everyone,

    I am Sergei, going to do my fourth trip with Carl in the Wrangells, despite his draconian fine policy. Not computer literate enough to post my picture, so I will let Carl do it.

    My preference is to fly in on the evening of the 7th.

    Looking forward to meeting everybody!

  15. Hey Sergei

    Thanks for dropping by – but seriously, ‘draconian’? That’s a bit harsh, I think.

    Remember to be nice to me Sergei, I can share a lot of stories and photos with the group about your hiking trips in Alaska. I’ll try to get a photo of you up for everyone.

    Hey Geoff,


    OK, I’ll go ahead and try to set it up for the 7th, and let you know the final plan ASAP. It’ll mean we’ll need to be as packed and ready to go as possible, and also to get an early start out of Anchorage, but we should be OK. Let’s presume 7pm for the fly-in unless I post otherwise on here.

    Thanks again guys.



  16. Svetlana

    Hi everyone,
    I am the last person from the group to introduce myself. Otherwise Carl will give me to carry all of his gear.
    I am originally from Siberia, so I familiar with mosquitoes and wild blueberries. Now I am living in Charlottesville Virginia, and working for the University of Virginia.
    Both Sergei and I are the members of Charlottesville outdoor club. We are doing a lot of fun activities; my favorites are hiking, backpacking and downhill skiing. Sergei been on several trips with Carl, he really likes these trips. He told us a lot about all adventures with Carl, and I exciting to join the trip this summer.
    I will post my picture as soon as I get connection with internet at home (right now I have a trouble with a cable company, they can not fix it).
    About tents. Last year I bought 6 moon solo (1 person) tent. I used only few times. I was impressed how light and compact it is. It is very spacious, a lot or room to put all your gear around. This tent is single wall and it has very good ventilation, so condensation is about the same as in double wall tent. But from another hand, because the good ventilation, this tent does not keep you warm, this is not tent for winter. Last year we got a good luck with the weather, and I did not have a chance to check this tent with the bad weather (rain, wind or snow). Also this tent is not a free standing, so you need some experience to set it up, but I don’t see any trouble. After couple nights I learn how to set up fast.
    It is great that we have a big group, and I am looking forward to meet all of you guys.


  17. Hey Sveta,

    Last one to post carries all the chocolate! πŸ™‚

    Great of you to join in, thanks for saying hey and introducing yourself a bit. Charlottesville is a cool town, I’m sure you get to do some great trips over there.

    I looked over the 6 Moons Design tents again last week, and read some more reviews. They seem to be really good. I’m SOOOOO tempted to get one! Of course, I could wait and check your out, but my season is nearly over by then – I might just need to get my a** in shape and carry the extra weight of the tent I already have.



  18. Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the information on tents, now I’m really confused. Jodee you mentioned that the 6 Moons Design is available on line, can you tell me the web address please?

    I too, have no idea how to post a photo on this site, so will “photo shop” one until it looks half reasonable and send it to Carl.

    Talk soon

  19. Hey Folks,

    Just a head’s up to let you know I’ll be around this week, until saturday, then out for 2 weeks – and after that it’ll be a while between email access – so it might take a week or 2 before I can get to it. Or just ask Sergei – he knows all this stuff (don’t ask him where to carry the bear spray when you’re hiking). πŸ™‚



  20. Hi Carl, quick question. What date is our planned pick up from Tebay Lakes. Are we traveling back to Anchorage the same day ?



  21. Hey Geoff,

    Just got in from a trip, sorry for the delay.We should get picked up from Tebay on the 19th, and drive back to Anchorage on the 20th. We have accommodations in McCarthy the night of the 19th.



This post is password protected. Enter the password to view comments.

Expeditions Alaska
Visit the wild