How big is a polar bear?

March 7th, 2017 by
Large adult male polar bears can weigh over 1400lbs. Polar bear, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

Large adult male polar bears can weigh over 1400lbs. Polar bear, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

Seriously? How big?

We’ve all heard polar bears are the largest terrestrial carnivore, right? We’ll side-step the rather silly idea of labelling Ursus maritimus (Sea bear), a marine mammal, as a “land-based carnivore for the moment. Instead consider the post behind it. Polar bears are the largest predator on land. This begs the question “just how big are polar bears?”

That’s a tough question to answer, for a number of reasons.

What does “big” mean? How tall? How heavy? What’s the volume?

Generally animals are measured by weight. Largely because weight can be such a good indicator of health and particularly population health. So we’ll consider the question (for now) of “How heavy is a polar bear?”. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Wrangell Mountains: Image of the Month, March 2017

March 1st, 2017 by

Wrangell Mountains in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mt. Drum, Mt Sanford, Mt Wrangell, Wrangell Mountains, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.


Hey folks,

Welcome to March, 2017!

A photo of my favorite view. And a view I’ve seen many, many times this winter. The Wrangell Mountains. Left to right, you’re looking at Mt Drum, Mt. Sanford, Mt Zanetti (the little “cone” shaped peak and Mt Wrangell.

To give you a perspective on this mountain range …. Mt. Zanetti, the tiny little cone .. is the same volume mountain as Mt. St. Helens, in Oregon. The one that went “Boom” all those years ago.

The Wrangells Rock.

Cheers

Carl

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Favorite Photos 2016

December 24th, 2016 by

Hey Folks,

It’s that time of the year again. Wrapping up image editing and putting together a quick gallery of photos from the year for you. These are mostly from different photo tours we ran this year. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Video

November 5th, 2016 by

Hey Folks

Put this little series of clips together. I hope you enjoy it. Good fun.

Cheers

Carl

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Brown bear fishing – Image of the Month, Sept 2016

September 8th, 2016 by
A brown bear chasing salmon in a small stream along the coast of Katmai National Park, Alaska. Ursus arctos, brown bear.

A brown bear fishing, chasing salmon in a small stream along the coast of Katmai National Park, Alaska. Ursus arctos, brown bear.

Hey Folks,

Been a while. Sorry about that. Summer is too often the season of not updating the blog. This summer, it’s mostly been photographing the great brown bears of the Katmai Coast.

I’ve had a great summer, and spent much of it photographing bears. In another week, I head off for 2 more weeks of brown bear photography, followed by 2 weeks of polar bear photography. Should be a blast.

This shot was taken last week on a fantastic trip camped along the Katmai Coast. Great fun.

Cheers

Carl

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Image of the Month, April: Sea Kayaking Icy Bay

April 4th, 2016 by
Sea kayaker in icy Bay on the icy Bay Sea kayaking trip, in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Sea kayaker in icy Bay on the icy Bay Sea kayaking trip, in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Thinking about the coming summer already. Anyone else want to visit Icy Bay this summer? Sea kayaking like nobody’s business.

Icy Bay is on the southern edge of Wrangell  St. Elias National Park. Arguably some of the best seat kayaking in the world. Amazing place!

This is a fun shot from a trip a couple years ago with Chuck. Tons of fun. Definitely a favorite trip for me.

Cheers

Carl

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Image of the Month: Brown Bear Cub

March 7th, 2016 by
A cute young brown bear cub strolls by, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

A cute young brown bear cub strolls by, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks

Here’s a curious young brown bear cub from one of our photo tours last summer. We had a blast photographing this guy and his sibling and mom; amazingly cute, try tolerant of our group, and they loved to play. We all got some great photo opportunities on the trip.

The bear tours are extremely popular, and always a ton of fun. Bears are just such an amazing animal to be around. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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2 Polar Bear Cubs Play a Game of Tag on Ice

February 6th, 2016 by

…. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Backpacking and Trekking Poles

January 10th, 2016 by
trekking poles for use hiking on on steep terrain Arrigetch Peaks, gates of the arctic National park Alaska

You can see why hiking poles are so handy on this terrain in Alaska. Often no to very little trail, and it can be steep, slippery, rocky, wet, or all of the above.

Hey Folks,

I’ve written on the topic of trekking poles a few times in the past. Here also. Every year I receive a lot of questions about the use of trekking poles in Alaska. Nothing’s changed. Use them.

The image above illustrates how useful they can be. Backpacking up or down steep terrain like this, often on very little or no trail, with a heavy pack on your back is challenging. Surprisingly, harder still, for most folks, is hiking across the side of a hill like this. Having that pole on your side to lean in to the hill is a big help.

A lot of folks hiking in the lower 48 don’t use them, and I understand that, for sure. The trail systems there are (generally) so good that I don’t think trekking poles hold quite the same benefit there, even though still useful. Up here, however, it’s a different matter (so I now provide trekking poles for all backcountry trips if you don’t have them or don’t want to deal with packing yours up here). …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Have a great new years’, folks!

December 31st, 2015 by
A large male polar bear walks across the ice of the frozen Beaufort Sea in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

A large male polar bear walks across the ice of the frozen Beaufort Sea, silhouetted against a deep red sunrise in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Hey All

From here in Alaska, Expeditions Alaska is wishing you a wonderful evening for New Years’ Eve and all the very best for the coming year!

Cheers

Carl

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Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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