Hiking trips in Alaska are a little bit different to hiking elsewhere. Alaska itself is a little bit different.
It’s bigger. Wilder. Harder.
Hiking in Alaska is harder than what you’re used to. Most correctly, I’d suggest that hiking in Alaska is substantially harder than what you’re used to.
That is the ultimate caveat to this question. What are the best weeklong hikes in Alaska?
Well, best for who? My buddy Todd did a weeklong hike last year in the Alaska Range and he covered 185 miles. So a weeklong hike for a ridiculously fit, ultra light speed freak is probably not going to be the best weeklong hike for you. Or for me.
We’ll look at 5 days hiking time. There’s every possibility you’re going to need at least a day travel either side of the hike getting to and from your AK destination to your trail head. And if your hiking trip involves a bush flight, or two, that could easily be more.
So here are a few of the best hikes or hiking areas for a week long hiking trip in Alaska. Continue reading…
Backpacking trip to Arrigetch Peaks in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
How about that? All shiny and new updated with code from this century and looking a whole lot better. Don’t you agree?
It’s been a while in coming, but I FINALLY got the website redone, from start to finish.
I needed a responsive design for the site. Previously I had been using a separate website for the mobile version, which meant trying to update and maintain info and schedules and details on 2 separate sites. A recipe for disaster. It also meant visitors would often see two different versions of a page or pages and that doesn’t go over so well.
A responsive design means this one single version of the website adapts to screen size and operating devices. It’s pretty fiddly. It means images don’t always nest as I’d like them to, or display as sharply as I’d like them, or might be cropped and so on. But it makes things a lot easier to read on the phone all the way up to a larger 30 inch monitor.
It also means I went big. Wider, larger images look a whole lot nicer. I wish I could set it up so it’s only viewed on a 24″ or larger monitor. I’ve checked the site on my 15″ laptop, my iPad, my phone, and my desktop computer as well. The desktop wins. By far. Continue reading…
After a couple of weeks doing little but shooting northern lights and enjoying the company of some wonderful guests I suppose it’s appropriate that I post a northern lights photo for this month’s Image of the Month.
So here it is.
This one was one of the final images taken on one of the most incredible nights of aurora I’ve seen. The peak of the activity just prior to this was absolutely incredible. I shot this with my 14-24mm lens on my D750. I’d been shooting with my D4s and 24mm f1.4 lens beforehand, and really wanted the wider view. So as the lights wound down I took a minute to grab my other setup and take a few images. Glad I did. Continue reading…
This isn’t your typical gear review. It’s more my commentary on rain gear and the failings of waterproof breathable rain gear.
I’ve bought and worn dozens of rain jackets over the years. Literally, dozens of them. Right now on the rack beside me as I type this I can count 11 rain jackets. Eleven.
It’s a bit ridiculous. I have everything from my old Aussie Dryzabone to my most recent Outdoor Research Goretex jacket I bought last year. Whatever your jacket, chances are good I’ve owned at least one of those.
And none of them, I mean none of them, work like I want them to. In fact, it’s fair to say none of them work like they did when I first bought them.
It’s been my experience that the magic of waterproof breathable technology is in the DWR (durable water repellent) coating. I don’t know what kind of black magic voodoo those manufacturers employ, but that stuff is astonishingly good. Continue reading…
Large adult male polar bears can weigh over 1400lbs.
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 point 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?”. Continue reading…
Wrangell Mountains in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.
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 the looks like a ski-jump on the side of Mt Wrangell (the broadest mountain on the far right that looks like an egg on its side – a big egg).
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.
Few things are as cute as polar bear cub playing on the snow and ice. This young fella, and his siblings, were having a ball on this particular day. They’d just had a few days of harsh steady high winds and nobody likes that.
The snow fell and after the winds died down everybody was keen to enjoy it. The bears played, the photographers fired away and and it couldn’t have been better. Continue reading…