Why choose Expeditions Alaska?
There are a number of really great Alaska backcountry guides and guiding businesses. You're in a fortunate position today, with so many options to choose from, some fantastic trips available to you. I know many of these folks, and will gladly recommend a number of them if you're looking for something that I don't offer.
So why would you want to pick up the phone and call me, Carl, to join one a trip with Expeditions Alaska?
Expeditions Alaska offer
- - Door to Door Service
- - Small group size
- - Owner-operator
- - Experience
- - Price Matching
- - Flexible itineraries
- - 100% Guarantee
- - Environmental Ethic
- - Personal Attention
- - Safety record
- - Location, location, location
- - Client Return Ratio
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I'm a guide, not an employer. When you decide to call or email and talk about planning a trip, you're talking with the same person who's actually guiding that trip. I will be guiding your trip, not some 21 year old intern who's never been to Alaska before. All your questions and concerns become my questions and concerns. You're not going out into the backcountry with someone who's never hiked the route before, but someone who has, in most cases, very probably hiked the route as many times or more than probably anyone. * If you're not sure who I am, Say Hello.
I've been doing this a long time. I've also done this all over the world, in South America, Australia, Southeastern US and Alaska. I've hiked all the routes on this website; I've hiked, camped, photographed and spent countless hours in these places, and know them, their ecology, biology and some of the geology pretty intimately. I've also got all the requisite certifications, permits, licenses, insurance and so on to guide and operate my business.
Small group size
I mean small, like 5 people. Many companies tout their trip size of 8-10 guests, plus a guide or 2, as 'small group size'. With Expeditions Alaska, I mean small group sizes. Unless there are some exceptional extenuating circumstances, the maximum group size on your trip will be 5. In many cases, we'll do a trip with less than that. Smaller numbers mean lower environmental impact and more personalized attention.
Door to Door trips
Alaska is a big state, and getting to your trailhead is often a bit of a mission in itself. Rental cars are expensive, and often not allowed on many of the roads you'd need to travel on to get to your destination. I'll pick you up and drop you back at the accommodation of your choice in Anchorage, and provide transport to/from Anchorage. The price of a rental vehicle to get you to McCarthy, for example, is often in the $1000/week range.
I'll match the price of ANY trip with the same itinerary as ours. Further, if you don't see the exact itinerary here, you're welcome to call and discuss what you're wanting to do, and what we can do to match it. If it fits with Expeditions Alaska schedule, I'll be glad to consider it and work out the best option we can with you.
I'll work diligently to identify and assess your interests and experience with the trip options available, and match those together. If you think you'd rather take 2 weeks to hike the Goat Trail, let's talk about that. If you want to hike the Sanford Plateau in 4 days, let's talk about that, and see if it's feasible. Your trip is your trip, not mine. I pride my business on running a fluid yet managed trip.
I can outfit your trip or you can outfit yourself. I can provide food and gear for you, food for you, gear for you, or just the guiding service. I can provide all transport you need, or meet you at the trailhead. It's your trip, after all, not mine.
Safety goes beyond simply injuries and accidents. Safety includes near misses as well. Sound decision making and an extensive, intimate knowledge of the places we're travelling through are probably the strongest factor in maintaining a great safety record. We carry satellite phones, radio, full first aid, map and compass and put safety first, always.
Alaska is an amazing place. There's simply nowhere quite like it. And the trips I lead here visit some of the grandest landscape and wildest wilderness terrain in this state. Bar none. The Arrigetch Peaks in Gates of the Arctic NP. The Canning River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Wrangell Mountains and St. Elias Range in Wrangell St. Elias National Park are, in my opinion, unbeatable options. For grizzly bear and brown bear photography, Katmai National Park is world revered.
There are not many places left on my 'to go' list at all. I've also walked and explored a number of places that while superb in some ways, don't necessarily lend themselves to guided trips so well. Maybe the terrain is too challenging, or too sketchy, or too inaccessible. There are few places in Alaska, if any, you might venture that will surpass what you'll find on these trips.
A genuine commitment to the environment and to sound environmental stewardship is foremost. It's just picking up our trash, it's picking up other people's trash, traveling lightly, tireless work and support of both major and local conservation agencies, dedicated commitment to Alaska environmental and conservation issues such as Pebble Mine and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Return Client Ratio
I can't think of a single answer to the question of 'why choose Expeditions Alaska?' that is stronger than this one. In any given year, fully 50% of the participants are return guests. Many folks have done 2, 3 and 4 trips with me; the record so far is 10 trips.
* Once a year I'll lead an exploratory trip, for experienced hikers only. Other than that, every trip on this website I've backpacked.