Pirated River Now Feeding Yukon’s Alsek River!

First ever observed case of ‘river piracy’ saw the Slims river disappear as intense glacier melt suddenly diverted its flow into another watercourse.
Riverside camping on our Alsek River Rafting Expedition.

What the heck is a pirated river? It’s a rare phenomena where one river disappears into another. Sound confusing? Such is the case in Kluane National Park where the Kaskawulsh Glacier used to feed two rivers: the Slims River which fed an Arctic-Ocean-bound system and the Kaskawulsh River which flowed south into the Alsek and Pacific Ocean. This happened last year when the shrinking glacier failed to feed the Slims and began diverting flow into the Kaskawulsh only, with impressive results. But wait! There’s more!…

Over the recent Easter weekend 7 major news providers around the world picked up the Slims story, each with their own twist. Almost a more fascinating phenomena than river piracy, but that’s another topic. See how the Slims and Alsek became international “news darlings” over four days with these informative articles: BBCGuardianNY TimesUSA TodayCBCYukon News  and find many more by Googling: Slims River.

With river piracy and a 6.3 earthquake we are expecting a grand season of adventure on the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers this summer! This is the year to see them!

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Neil Hartling

Neil Hartling

Neil Hartling is the founder of Nahanni River Adventures and Cana­dian River Expeditions, an author and Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

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