I hope this finds you all well and gearing up for a great summer. It seems like winter solstice has only just been and gone, and its already march. Spring’s right around the corner, and then summer will be underway! I’m enjoying the winter, but am ready for summer – warmer weather, sunshine, longer days, and flowers and green vegetation is always welcome! And, best of all, more backpacking!
One of the questions I receive most, especially this time of year, is how best to prepare for the coming backpacking season. The short answer is, it doesn’t matter – just do something – the fitter you are, the safer your trip is! However, I think a few specific things can help:
a) make it regular. Whatever your exercise regime, try hard to make it happen every day – not every second day, or 3 days a week Continue reading…
Just a quite note to say Happy New Year to all, and all the best to everyone for a great 2009. This photo was from my winter solstice hike in Wrangell St. Elias National Park. A great view of Mt. Blackburn across the Root and Kennecott Glaciers. Check out the calendar for the trips we’ve scheduled for 09, and drop us aline if you have any questions or want to see something not listed.
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!
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. Continue reading…
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!
I just got back from a sea kayak 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? Continue reading…
Just a quick post before I disappear for a couple of weeks. The blog will slow down even more the next few months, as I’m too busy hiking and photographing to get much posting done, but I’ll try to update it from time to time.
Anyway, here’s a photo I took a few days ago, when I was lucky enough to find a few Great Horned Owl fledglings, just learning to fly, and not far from their nest. The light wasn’t so great, but these little guys were SO cute! I’ll probably not run into them again as they’ve gained their wings and are heading off on their own before too long. I’m about to head off for a trip for 2 weeks, then heading up to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for 2 weeks, which I can’t WAIT to do, so in the meantime, have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the mountains.
Summer’s rolling around the corner, and now’s a good time to grab some gear if you need it. A few sales are on that might save a little cash. Mammoth Gear are selling some a bunch of items cheap – I just bought a winter bag for super cheap! Backcountry are also having a Memorial Day sale – up to 30% off. REI Outlet have some stuff on sale too which might be worth browsing, depending on what you need.
I’ve dealt with all these retailers, and recommend them all. No hassle, reputable folks.
Good shopping, and don’t go overboard – remember, after you buy it, you still gotta carry it!
With the summer season just around the corner, a few tips on some basic First Aid might be helpful. In this simulation, you can see my friend and Wilderness First Responder, Lisa, stabilizing the patient’s (Jason) neck. Stabilizing a patients spine is super-important in critical care for all patients who have suffered major trauma, or where the mechanism of injury is unknown. In other words, when the rescuer doesn’t know what happened, and why the patient is suffering. The best position for a patient whose may have a spine injury is flat on their back, with a rescuer holding their head in what’s called ‘anatomical position’ – basically, as straight as possible. Moving the head, or allowing the spine to flop around, can easily cause the spinal cord to be ruptured, or severed, causing permanent disabilities to the patient. Continue reading…