Archive for the ‘Trip Tales’ Category

Reports, accounts, lies, mistruths and ramblings about ambling and rambling.

2008 Trips, and thanks folks!

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Hiker in Icy Bay, looking at Mt. St. Elias, sunset, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Someone told me summer’s been and gone already for 2008 here in Alaska. I missed it, somehow, apparently. What a crazy year it was, weather-wise. Thunderstorms and lightning in the arctic, rain and clouds, snow and clouds, sunshine, wind, cool weather, hot weather, a mixed bag for sure. What was super, super appreciated, was the great spirits everyone brought along on the trips this summer – I couldn’t be more appreciative, and the groups couldn’t have better. Thanks.

I’ll try to have a slideshow up the website with a little review of the summer trips, but I’m heading back over to Wrangell – St. Elias to photograph the remaining fall colors, and then come back to Anchorage early October to get website updates, etc, done. So look for a slideshow on the home page in October. Until then, thanks SO much to everyone who came out this year, for all the good times, the great company, and some killer hiking trips. Thank you.

This photo is me, staring in awe at Mt St. Elias, from Icy Bay, in mid-June. What a mountain!



Trip review: Bremner Mines to Tebay Lakes.

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Backpackers hiking through field of wildflowers in the Chugach mountains, between Bremner Mines and Tebay Lakes, along the Klu River valley, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

I finally get a chance to catch up quickly here – it’s been one trip after another, and though the weather’s not been the best, the trips have all been a ton of fun. I’m heading out in a few days for another basecamp/photo trip, which should be great, and then the season is over – it’s gone WAY too quickly!

One of the highlights this year was our Bremner Mines to Tebay Lakes trip – the first ever commercial trip here, and one of the first groups of people to complete the route. We had an awesome group of experienced hikers, adventurous all, and we had a blast. The route was challenging at times, but enough long mellow stretches of easy hiking that we all enjoyed it. (more…)

Mt Drum from the Sanford Plateau.

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Mount Drum, Sanford Plateau, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

We just got through a great trip up on the Sanford Plateau, on the north side of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. The hiking was great, the views sublime, and the group awesome. This image is from our campsite on the 2nd night, where we spent 2 full days enjoying the high alpine tundra and incerdible views of the massive mountains nearby – Mt Sanford (over 16 000′), Mt Wrangell (over 14 000′) and Mt Drum (over 12 000′). This image is of early morning at Mt Drum.

The weather wasn’t too bad – a mix of rain, clouds, wind, and calm sunny weather as well – a welcome respite. Much better than the weather on the previous trip to Skolai Pass, where rain, sleet and even a little snow bound us up tight for much of the trip. I’m excited to start doing more treks on the north side of the park and exploring this area further – we’ll definitely be back on the Sanford Plateau in 2009, and hopefully be able to do a few other trips in the area as well.

I’m off tomorrow for the 2 week trek from Bremner Mines to Tebay Lakes, which I’m very excited about, and hopefully we’ll get some good weather. We’ve a great group of hikers again, and this promises to be loads of fun. I need to get to bed and get some rest, because tomorrow evening, we’ll be in the backcountry. I’ll try to put a trip report together when I get back on the 20th. Stay tuned!



Sea Kayaking Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Sea kayaking Icy Bay with Mt. St. Elias in the background, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

I just got back from a trip to Icy Bay, down on the southern edges of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. This will definitely be a trip for next year. It was my first time in this amazing place, and it really is cool. There’s SO much to see and explore in the area. It’ll be a sea kayaking/hiking trip, a little of everything. the scenery is awesome, and the geology of the place is fascinating. 100 years ago it was a wall of glacial ice, now 3 glaciers have receded, and the valleys left in their wake filled with water, creating 4 deep cold fjords. The Taan fjord is the most navigable for paddling, the Tsaa fjord is almost covered with icebergs. Here’s a shot from a camp site along the shores of the Taan fjord, Icy Bay, looking out over the bay towards Mt. St. Elias, as it catches the last rays of the sun for the day. Pretty sweet view, eh? (more…)

Skolai to Wolverine.

Friday, December 28th, 2007

A female hiker rests on a boulder in the Chittistone Valley, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a short trip review of a trip we did this previous summer. Skolai to Wolverine, a favorite route for just about everyone who’s done it. We did this trip in 2007 in late July, early August, and had a blast. Allowing extra days to spend on route gave us the leeway to make some shorter days, with less time carrying heavy packs, and more time eating good food, enjoying the lingering sunsets, and dayhiking and exploring the region. We hiked up to Hole in the Wall on our first afternoon, where we saw and photographed a family of White-tailed ptarmigans, along with some Dall sheep. Hole in the Wall is one of the first places most visitors get to be up close with a glacier, so it’s always a treat. We had a late lunch up in the hanging valley, and moseyed back down to camp in the early evening. The following day we hiked over to Chittistone Pass, where we set up and camp and did a short walk around that area. (more…)

Sunset over the Bremner River Valley, Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

A backpacker watching the sunset over the Bremner River Valley in the Chugach Mountains, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Tebay – to Bremner Trip, Part Deux

Hey Folks

Here’s another image from our jaunt around the Tebay Lakes area.

This is one of the few photos you’ll see posted here with me in them. To allay your concerns, no, I wasn’t fixin’ to jump. I was simply enjoying the sunset. This is from our second night on the trip. Camped right by this cliff, looking south towards the Bremner River, or west towards a Glacier. Definitely one of the all-time coolest campsites. We even had a mountain goat come wandering down towards our camp at dinner. I, of course, was unprepared, and way too slow, and so got no pictures of the mountain goat. (more…)

Wildflowers at Dawn, Bremner to Tebay Lakes Trip, Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Wildflowers in bloom in the Chugach Mountains, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey folks,

I think I’m going to upload some photos and stories on this blog this fall/winter, instead of doing the usual slideshow for the year. Hopefully it’ll be a little more interesting.

This photo was taken on the Tebay Lakes trp we did this year, with Sergei and Mark. What an awesome time that was! The flight from McCarthy to the Tebay Lakes landing strip is along one, nearly 45 minutes. We took off from McCarthy in gloomy drizzly weather, and I know Sergei was a little anxious about that. he came out the previous year on a trip from Skolai to Wolverine and got absolutely nailed for 10 days with this kind of weather. The look on his face was ‘oh no, not again’!!! (more…)


Owner and guide Carl Donohue.


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