Heidi Steltzer

Heidi Steltzer is a research scientist at Colorado State University working on a USGS study on Alaskan summers. She was flown into the Agashashok River setting by bush plane, staying on site for over two months.

Dear Innova,

Last year I purchased a Helios inflatable kayak from you for use at our field research site up in the Brooks Range in Alaska. It was GREAT!

I have attached a few photos to this e-mail to show you how we put it to use . . . and the fun that was had.
We used it to cross the main Channel of the Agashashok River in Noatak National Park and Preserve. For
work, we had two people kayak across, while one person would hold a rope attached to the kayak. Then, the rope would be used to pull the kayak back across and ferry the remaining two people over.

The river is shallow with a coarse gravel bottom. The kayak handled well even in the faster flowing sections, although we did tip over twice (once was early in the season, when the water was 45 degrees F). Angling the kayak perpendicular to the river and running into a small boulder just under the surface caused the tips. Also, it became a regular activity on our days off to hike up the river, fish and return in the Helios. The braided, shallow river channels could be floated in this boat, and I expect few others could have done so well.


Heidi crossing the Agashashok River in the
Noatak National Park and Preserve, Alaska