We continued riding our ATV’s up the ridge that followed Nugget Creek in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park on a 1994 research trip, searching for the trail that led to the private cabin where we planned to stay. A sparsely traveled track appeared to the left leading to a steep sided peninsula jutting into the Nugget Creek canyon, our directions showed that an antenna would mark the parking area for the building. We found the antenna at the edge of a cliff, but no cabin was in sight. Gingerly we crept to the edge to peer down and saw a skinny almost vertical foot path descending to a ledge below, where a little cabin sat, perched on a narrow pinnacle above a precipitous ravine. It was an amazing sight!
Overcoming the fear of height, we began a series of trips hauling our gear down the steep slope to the cabin. We came to a structure that was not visible from above, it was an open shed with a metal roof. One side was full of dry firewood and the other half was an outhouse with a world class view! A little further down the trail was the cabin, carefully placed on this precarious rocky shelf protruding into the canyon. Looking across the narrow gorge the canyon walls were higher than the building and the span across was about 200 yards! Evidence of game trails were visible used occasionally by Dall sheep. We were speechless to find a well-built, meticulous building, freshly painted in this impossible location.
Here is a sketch of a side elevation of the cabin taken from my 1994 sketchbook/journal .
Another sketch from my journal showing the narrow, deep canyon and the location of the cabin on the peninsula ledge.
Gail Niebrugge, Alaska Artist