29-Mar-2007 -- This confluence is located in South Central Alaska, USA, to the west of Cook Inlet and due west of Iliamna Volcano. It lies north of Iliamna Lake and southeast of Lake Clark. The mountains in this area are part of a chain of volcanoes that are located all along the Alaska Range. This area is located in the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. This location is around 150 miles (240 km) Southwest of Anchorage.
On March 29, a particularly nice sunny spring day, Larry and I went flight seeing in Larry’s airplane with the goal of locating and documenting 5 different confluences. We took off from the Kenai airport, flew due west to cross over Cook Inlet at its narrowest point, then turned south and flew along the west side of Cook inlet toward Iliamna Volcano. We first located 60N153W then flew due west to 60N154W. We then went due north to 61N154W then turned east to 61W152N then returned to Kenai. The round trip took us about 3 hours of flying time. The temperature on the ground at the airport was about 32 degrees F (0 degrees C); at altitude, it was about 20 degrees F (-7degrees C). Our trip took us across an inlet covered with melting ice floes, across mountains of the Alaska Range and deep into the back country of Alaska, far from any cities, towns, villages or roads. Once we started across the mountains we saw only a few isolated snowmobile tracks in hundreds of miles.
Larry and I flew over this site in Larry’s 1975 Cessna 180J airplane; the actual confluence was determined by the on-board Garmin 295 GPS. With the satellites that we were able to receive on this day, we flew over the confluence to within an accuracy of 19 feet (5.9 m).
Locating this confluence was relatively simple with the GPS but pinpointing the exact location was difficult because there was no really prominent feature to lock in on. The confluence seems to be located very close to the top of a ridge. Despite flying over the location several times we were unable to really distinguish that spot from the surrounding terrain. The site on the ground appeared to be at about 1,000 feet (305 m) altitude. This confluence would be accessible on the ground but only with a great deal of trouble. There is a long narrow lake nearby which would be suitable for landing in a float plane in summer or on skiis during winter, and then with some mountain climbing skills, the site could be reached. This area is pretty remote, with no cabins and certainly no roads anywhere nearby.
Photos: Photo 1 shows the confluence as we flew directly over it. Photo 2 was taken from directly over the confluence looking due east toward Cook Inlet with Illimna Volcano prominent on the horizon. Photo 3 shows us flying very close to the confluence and the lake visible in the background to the northwest. Photo 4 was taken from a couple of miles to the west of the site looking east and toward Illimna Volcano. This view shows the lake that is near enough to the site to be used for landing aircraft for future access to the site on the ground. Photo 5 shows us approaching the site from the east heading west. This view gives a good idea of what the surrounding terrain looks like. Photo 6 shows another close-up of the confluence.
According to the rules of the web site, this visit is considered incomplete because we weren’t on the ground. As can be seen from the pictures, this is quite a remote spot, but with some difficulty, it could be visited on the ground. Until it is visited on the ground, our pictures at least show what the area is like at this confluence.