Archive for the ‘Wrangell St. Elias National Park’ Category

All things Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Calendar Winners and Mount Blackburn

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
Mt. Blackburn, the Root and Kennicott Glacier, wintertime, sunset, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mt. Blackburn, the Root and Kennicott Glacier, wintertime, sunset, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Just a quick post to announce the calendar winners from the recent giveaway are Natalie, David and Jason. Happy New Year to these three, and the calendars are in the mail. Congrats all, and thanks to everyone for your entries. Tons o’ fun!

The name of the mountain was Mount Blackburn, from Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The photo in this post was taken from the other side (east) of the mountain, winter solstice a few years ago. Mount Blackburn stands 16 391′ high, and is the 5th highest peak in the United States, the tallest in the Wrangell Mountains.

Cheers

Carl

Image of the Month – January, 2013

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
The Milky Way, as seen over the Copper River, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

The Milky Way, as seen over the Copper River, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

 

Hey Folks,

Welcome to 2013. Here’s a photo of the Milky Way, towering high over the Copper River, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Standing outside at minus 40degrees to shoot at night here is a chore, but a pretty amazing experience all the same.

Wishing you all a great year.

Cheers

Carl

Trip of the year – Malaspina Glacier Traverse

Monday, December 31st, 2012
Traversing the Malaspina Glacier, Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Jodee steps across a crevasse on the Malaspine Glacier, with 18 008′ tall Mt. St. Elias peaking thru the clouds in the background. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

What better way to celebrate the new year than a quick tip of the hat to Expeditions Alaska’s trip of the year for 2012? The winner, for me, was the Malaspina Glacier traverse we did in August. 12 awesome days on the southern coastal edge of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, I led a group of 5 hardy adventurers over the largest piedmont glacier* in North America, down to the beach, and along the coast to our pickup place.

A sketchy start, as our backcountry bush pilot informed us, right before we departed, that we wouldn’t be able to fly to our intended destination in the Samovar Hills. The huge snowfall we’d had over the previous winter hadn’t yet melted out enough to land safely at the remote backcountry strip. (more…)

2012 – A Year in Alaska in 8 minutes

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

An Expeditions Alaska Video Review

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Happy Holidays – from Expeditions Alaska

Saturday, December 15th, 2012
Evening light on a winter Black spruce tree in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Evening light on a winter Black spruce tree in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

 

Hey Folks,

Just a quick hello, and best wishes to everyone out there for a wonderful holiday season; all the best for a great new year. Enjoy your loved ones.

Be well,

Cheers

Carl

Camping on the Malaspina Glacier

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
Camping on the Malaspina Glacier

Our kitchen setup on the Malaspina Glacier, one gorgeous evening. Last night on the ice before we crossed the moraine and left the ice. The night after this we were camped on the beach. For a larger version of this photo, click the image above.

Hey Folks

This past August, we just did an EPIC traverse across the Malaspina Glacier. Our original plan had been to fly from Yakutat to the Samovar Hills, and hike south. Due to the insane amount of snow in the area last winter (Yakutat got 350-360 inches), we weren’t able to land at the strip we’d hoped to fly into. A last minute change of plan meant flying to Kageet Point, Icy Bay, and hiking east from there, before picking up the original route, and following it south to the coastline, then east again to our intended pickup spot. This added about 35-40 miles to our route, but with an adventurous and experienced group of folks, it was worth it.

We spent 5 of the 9 nights on the ice of the Malaspina Glacier; the Malaspina is the size of Rhode Island, over 40 miles and nearly 30 miles long. Contrary to what wikipedia might tell you about the glacier, it DOES reach the coast, and so should rightfully be called a tidewater glacier, not a piedmont glacier. We packrafted around the lagoon the ice calves into on the beach, and it’s most definitely coastal.

Camping on ice has its challenges. Finding a nice flat spot can be tough, but especially finding a nice flat spot with enough rocks around to use for holding the tent/tarp in place. Sometimes we’d find wonderful, long flat stretches of ice, perfect for tentsites, but not a rock in sight. You can’t drive tent stakes into ice (unless you carry ice screws, of course -major overkill for a tent). But usually it didn’t take too long to find a good spot.

Secondly, insulation. A regular sleeping pad just doesn’t cut it. I used an Exped Downmat 7 UL, and it was great. Warm, comfortable, and not too heavy. Other choices include using 2 pads, one hard-cell foam pad like a z-rest or similar underneath an inflatable Neo Air or thermarest pad. Sergei used the Exped Downmat 9, which was easily the best (most comfortable and warm) choice. A deflated packraft under the tent all offered some protection from the ice underneath.

Overall, it was a grand trip. The weather wasn’t too bad at all, which made a great difference. Camping on an expanse of ice like that for a week, with no real wind or rain to deal with, made the trip a lot of fun. A great group of folks, 4 of which have now done 4 or more different backpacking trips with me, and some world class adventure. Good, good times.

Cheers

Carl

Image of the Month: Aug/Sept 2012 – Mt. St. Elias

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
Mt. St. Elias, viewed through the door of my tent, camped on the Malaspina Glacier, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mt. St. Elias, viewed through the door of my tent, camped on the Malaspina Glacier, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Apologies for missing a few posts here over the summer. It’s been a busy one, and I haven’t had much time keep up with the blog. So here’s a view from my summerhome. The Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 2.1, camped on the Malaspina Glacier, looking through the door at Mt. St. Elias.

From our recent exploratory hike, from Icy Bay to the Malaspina Forelands, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. Awesome walk.

Cheers

Carl

Image of the Month: Dawn in the Wrangell Mountains

Saturday, April 7th, 2012
The Wrangell Mountains dawn, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

The Wrangell mountains, near Nabesna, catch the first rays of the day. Sunrise near Jack Creek, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Welcome to Expeditions Alaska, the new name for my business, previously Alaskan Alpine Treks. I’ve thought for a long time now about changing the name, so here it is. I’ve still got a few things to tweak over the coming weeks, so if you run across any glitches, please let me know.

This image was taken early one morning on the recent snowshoe/photography trip we took to Wrangell  – St. Elias National Park. The folks who were drawn for the trip, Paul, Doug, Ryan and Jim were great fun, and it was really nice to have such a good troop of folks along.

We were treated to some awesome weather the whole time, which made the trip an easy time, for sure. Sunny skies and very little wind can make March a good time in Alaska.

We snowshoed, no skiing, as the group preferred to hike and photograph rather than ski around. I’ll try to post some more images from the trip soon enough. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one from one  great morning out near Nabesna.

Oh yes, one more thing to add; I’ll throw up this photo in honor of Anchorage breaking its own record for most snow in a winter. Happened today – Wax ’em up!

Cheers

Carl

Expeditions Alaska

Wrangell – St. Elias Winter Trip

Saturday, March 17th, 2012
Dave and Bob enjoying the afternoon view of the Wrangell Mountains, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Dave and Bob enjoying the afternoon view of the Wrangell Mountains, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Just had 2 great trips, with friends Dave and Bob , followed by an aurora borealis photo tour as well. I’m packing now for a week long trip over to ‘the park’ with Ryan, Doug, Jim and Paul, for the free trip we put together over the winter. It should be a blast, and hopefully we get some days like this one here.

Cheers

Carl

Image of the Month: March Madness

Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Mount Sanford and the Copper River Basin, seen from the Mentasta Mountains, winter, boreal forest, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mount Sanford and the Copper River Basin, seen from the Mentasta Mountains, winter, boreal forest, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

It’s here already; March Madness has arrived. a week in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, a week in central and northern Alaska for the aurora borealis, a week back in Wrangell – St. Elias, and another week touring around skiing. Should be a big one.

Much like Mt. Sanford here. They don’t come too much grander than this mountain. I’ll continue to be offline a bit . then .. I have some HUGE news. See ya in April

Cheers

Carl

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Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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