Bikerafting the Lost Coast

Bikerafting the Lost Coast

In August 2013 Cameron and Iris Vandenham repeated the 2011 Lost Coast South route, bikerafting from Yakutat to Gustavus. They paddled and pedaled 200 miles over 13 days. The duo met for the first time the morning of the trip!

Photos & story by Cameron Lawson

"Before departing for Alaska’s Lost Coast, my partner and I had never met, and we certainly didn’t know if we’d make good traveling companions. We had a 200-mile journey through remote Alaskan wilderness ahead of us, and we both had a lot of questions brewing in our minds before meeting up for the first time in Yakutat." ~Alaska’s Lost Coast by Bike and Packraft: Blind Date, Alaska Style, by Cameron Lawson

Biking + Rafting = Bikerafting

In August, I met up with a companion for a bikerafting adventure on the Lost Coast. We used fat-tired bikes and small, inflatable rafts to travel the coastline (known as the Lost Coast) from Yakutat south to Gustavus. Using bikes and packrafts was ideal for this adventure because this 350-mile seam of a coastline is sandwiched between the moody Gulf of Alaska and the Fairweather Range. The landscape requires both bikes and boats for a speedy crossing.

The Lost Coast is actually the location for two famous bikerafting sections, done in the south from Yakutat to Gustavus (via Juneau) and the north from Yakutat to Cordova. And I had already done the north section in 2010 with my friend Brett DeWoody. One of my all-time favorite adventures, it was where I hatched the idea for Titan Straps. As a result of the successes of the previous trip, I was excited to try the other route with Iris.

This next exploratory mission with Iris would be interesting on multiple levels. We literally met the morning of the trip. Like most journeys of this distance and difficulty, I wanted my partner to be a known variable. Iris wasn't. But I soon discovered that not only was she a positive, capable partner, but she also shared the same enthusiasm and commitment for the trip. And a strong mental attitude can overcome most obstacles.

So, do you want to learn more about the entire adventure? Then check out the articles Cameron wrote for National Geographic online...

National Geographic Online:

Cameron also shot video, which we only recently released. Check out a short YouTube video we made on the subject, "The Lost Coast South: Whale Watching, Fatbiking & Packrafting in Alaska."

 

Bikerafting the Lost Coast

 

Bikerafting the Lost Coast

bikerafting the lost coast