Image of the Month – May 2011

April 30th, 2011 by
Standing brown bear sow, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Brown bear sow, or female grizzly bear stands tall, raised up on her hind feet. Coastal brown bears can stand nearly 10' tall. (Ursus arctos). Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. To view a larger version of this photo, please click on the photo above.

Hey Folks,

From last year’s Grizzly Bear Fall Photo Tour. It took a lot of trying, but I finally managed to snag a few images of this grand bear standing upright, looking toward me.

A photo like this is one I’ve really wanted for a long, long time, so I was pretty glad when I finally managed to get something like this.

Can’t wait to get back there this year and see how she’s doing. The bears are just a great way to end the season.

Cheers

Carl

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Trip Sale – 3 people for the price of 2

April 20th, 2011 by
Hiking above the Jacksina Glacier

Sanford Plateau trip, above the Jacksina Glacier, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey folks,

That’s right, a killer deal here, but you have to move fast. Ending April 30th. Book a trip for this summer, 2011, for 3 or more people, and Expeditions Alaska will comp the cost of one of those people.

3 people hike for the cost of 2.

If you’re thinking about a hike this summer, let us know ASAP, and we’ll work out this arrangement for your group/family.

This deal lasts until the end of April, 2011; so contact us ASAP and make an inquiry before then, and we’ll work out the details for the trip. Summer’ll be here before you know it!

Cheers

Carl

PS – Hey Folks – It’s now May 1, 2011, and I’m sorry this offer has now closed. But – feel free to send along an inquiry and we’ll see what kind of deal we can work if you’re interested in a trip this summer. Thanks to everyone who contacted us already.

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Pack your sleeping bag

April 9th, 2011 by
Backcountry campsite, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska

A snowy campsite on the high alpine tundra of Wrangell - St. Elias National Park. Termination dust covers the ground, or fresh fall snow, and Mt Jarvis (13 421') of the Wrangell Mountains stands dominating behind. Backcountry campsite, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. On a backpacking trip in September. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey folks

A lot of people heading to Alaska inquire about the “best” sleeping bag to bring; i.e., what temperature rating to bring. My recommendation has always been for a warmer bag than many people typically expect. My advice for a summer bag in Alaska is 20deg F, (about -6deg C) and no warmer.

That is, 20deg Fahrenheit minimum! don’t bring a 32deg F bag (0deg C).

Surely it’s not going to be below freezing in July, I hear folks respond?

Well, hopefully not. But it certainly can be, especially if we hike up in the high country at all (which we typically do, because that’s where the views are, and where the brush isn’t). And the altitude needn’t be that high; 5000 feet is alpine country in Alaska.

But the reasons for a warm bag go beyond merely snow and cold. Some folks will say they’d rather bring a warmer bag, like a 32deg F bag, as it’s lighter weight, and they can always wear extra clothes to bed if need be. They’ll be bringing warm clothes along anyway, right? Sometimes, this is true. But there can easily be times when it is not true. How about your fleece jacket is wet? Or you lose it (yes, I’ve seen that happen)?  …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Image of the Month, April 2011

April 1st, 2011 by
Mount Sanford, Copper River Basin, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

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

Hey Folks,

From a trip to Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve last month, here’s a photo of Mount Sanford and the Copper River Basin.

The wind was fairly whippin this morning, and it was way colder than I like for it to be, but the light was nice. What a  mountain, eh?

Cheers

Carl

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Northern Lights over Denali

March 11th, 2011 by
Aurora borealis and Denali, Denali State Park, Alaska.

Aurora borealis lights up the winter night sky over Mt McKinley, highest mountain in North America, also called Denali. Viewpoint from Denali State Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey folks

The highest mountain in North America, Denali, or Mt McKinley as its more officially known, of the Alaska Range are dwarfed by the Aurora borealis, spiralling overhead in the night sky.

What a treat it was to see this last night. Well worth waiting up for. It’s 10:45am right now, and I’ve only been home maybe 30 minutes. A long night, cold and windy, but some fantastic sights to see. Winter in Alaska can be long and cold and dark; but those things are quickly forgotten in the moment.

On another note, my thoughts and prayers go all the way out to those folks in Japan; I haven’t seen all the reports yet, but from what I understand, the situation is pretty horrible. I feel for you.

Cheers

Carl

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Image of the Month, March 2011

March 8th, 2011 by
Snowshoeing, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Snowshoeing and backcountry skiing in the Mentasta Mountains, winter, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Another photo from a winter trip; this one to the Mentasta Mountains in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. My favorite mode of travel; snowshoe up, and ski back down. It’s worth bringing the extra gear!

Heinous wind – Yikes!

Cheers

Carl

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Viking Lodge Cabin

March 6th, 2011 by
Viking Lodge Cabin, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Winter in Alaska. The Viking Lodge Cabin, a public use cabin in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, makes a fantastic getaway for a winter trip. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

Here’s a shot of one of my favorite places in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve; Viking Lodge Cabin. The cabin is not far off the Nabesna Road, which is nice; accessible. Unlike most public use cabins in the park, this cabin requires reservations, though that also means when you arrive, you know ahead of time you don’t have to share the cabin with anyone else who might show up. There is no fee to use the cabin, which is nice. It’s quite a treat, being able to head out in the winter and have a cozy, comfortable cabin to relax in.

An old barrel stove sits in the middle of the cabin, and warms the cabin pretty quickly, even in the depths of winter. It makes the world of difference after a day out in the mountains, skiing or snowshoeing, to come back to a warm cabin, rather than a cold tent. Perhaps in the morning it makes even more difference, waking up and having a nice warm pair of boots sitting by the cabin, rather than crusty frozen boots outside the door.  …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Alaska Wildlife – Cow moose

February 27th, 2011 by
A cow moose stands outside the house in Anchorage, Winter, Alaska. (Alces alces)

A cow moose stands outside the house in Anchorage, Winter, Alaska (Alces alces). Please click on the image here to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

A fun post.

After all the tromping around in the mountains and wilds of Alaska, carrying way too much weight and camera gear around the hills trying to photograph wildlife, I tried a new approach. Let the animals come to me! So here, taken from the window of the house, a cup of coffee in one hand and my camera in the other, is a cow moose. Anchorage, Alaska.

Now, I wonder if I can get this same technique to work on a pack of wolves!

Cheers

Carl

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ANWR Trip – Canning River Video

February 12th, 2011 by

Hey folks,

Here’s a short video from our Canning River Trip, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We spend anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks in the refuge, depending on the year, and a little video like this doesn’t even touch the surface of the trip. But hopefully it catches at least a little of the feel of the trip.

Because of the nature of the logistics here, typically, the maximum number of people on this trip is 3, plus your guide. If you have more than 3 people, please call or email to discuss trip options.

Enjoy the video. I just recorded the music for it this afternoon; hope you like it.

Cheers

Carl

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2011 Calendar online

February 10th, 2011 by
Campsite on the Goat Trail.

Bret snapping a photo of camp and the killer scenery on the Goat Trail, Skolai Pass - Wolverine, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Just a quick note to say ‘At last’ .. the 2011 calendar is online. Take a quick look at the trips listed. Also, if you don’t see a trip you’re interested in, or the dates don’t quite match what you’re looking for, send me an email and we’ll see what we can do about scheduling that.

It’s set to be a great year …. the Gates of the Arctic trip to the Arrigetch Peaks should be a blast. 2 weeks exploring the Brooks Range, awesome. We have room for only one or 2 more people, so if this might be a trip for you, definitely drop us a note ASAP. This is an exploratory trip, so intermediate – advanced hikers only. All transport taken care of from Fairbanks to the backcountry and back! I’ve wanted to return to the Gates for 15 years now, and have long been wanting to explore the Arrigetch area. This one will be amazing.

More info on new trips and events coming soon. Stay tuned!

Cheers

Carl

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Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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