About the www.Alaskool.org project and its developers

The 1990 effort was centered around finding a route through the west fork of the Nakwasina River.

Topographical maps show a very steep, narrow valley slowly enlarging to drain a very large alpine valley up to six miles wide. We would try to find a way through the narrow funnel where the river joins the main Nakwasina River.

Our cousin, Louie Howard, volunteered to be our support vessel and brother Fred and I departed on the Labor Day weekend.

We landed in Nakwasina and proceeded directly to our destination. It was very steep going. We ran into waterfall after waterfall. We pressed on, but it kept getting steeper and steeper, we ran into cliffs, landslides, heavy brush, and steep ridges. It was hard going. It rained without letup. We searched every possible trail or hint of a trail. We ran into more cliffs and steeper landslides.

After a hard day of climbing we ran into a waterfall which we could not find a way around. It was too steep and rocky. We camped there overnight and made our way back to the beach the next day.

We were satisfied that this, too, was not the route taken by our people in 1804.

No effort was undertaken in 1991 due to the serious illness my wife, Hilda Lorraine, was suffering.

My wife passed away in July of 1992. To help overcome my grief I traveled to Sitka to try again to find the route taken by our people in 1804.

We arrived in early August. Boyd Didrickson of the Herring House was captain of our support vessel. We received a cash donation from the Sitka Tribe to pay for gas.

Brother Fred and Harold Kitka were not able to get away from their jobs so only my son Doug and I were left to make this year’s effort.

We traveled to Humpy Creek in Nakwasina pass and entered the woods there. Our intention was to see if it is possible to travel from Nakwasina Pass to Fish Bay through the low valley that separates them.

We had bad luck right from the beginning—we ran into a logged off area that we couldn’t get around. We ended up climbing over a hill (1,485 ft.) to get around the clear cut. That ate up the first day. We decided to enjoy the remainder of the day and set up camp on the mountain top.

The next day we began our descent of the mountain’s north face and ran into another clear cut area.

The entire morning was lost as we forced our way through the clear cut.

When we came out of the clear cut we ran into a series of old logging roads. We followed them west till we got to a point where we could see all the possible routes to Fish Bay. The most logical route was to our east between two clear cut areas.

I had not been able to properly train for this year’s effort and I knew I wouldn’t be able to climb a second mountain in two day’s time.

I radioed ahead to Boyd in Fish Bay telling him of my decision and turned and headed back to Nakwasina Pass.

Even though I was forced to turn back again I was feeling good. This route looked likely. A grout of one thousand people could make it through here easily compared to the mountain passes above Nakwasina River.

The Next Effort