We looking forward to long, sunny days spent backpacking through the wildflowers of Lake Clark National Park, like the day captured in our April Photo of the Month!
On an Alaska Alpine Adventures ski trip, these skiers prepare for a descent from a pass in the Neacola Mountains. Beyond the glacial valley below them, the iconic peak, Citadel, looms large.
For almost two decades we at Alaska Alpine Adventures have been inspired by the Neacola Mountains of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
On winter ski tours, volcanic summit expeditions and summer backpacking traverses, we have enjoyed exploring the incredible peaks, passes, valleys and glaciers of this seldom visited mountain range. See the Neacolas for yourself on our featured Trip of the Month: Turquoise Glacier High Route.
Most of Alaska is extraordinarily remote and inaccessible, but there are still places in Alaska that remain virtually undiscovered. The Revelation Mountains are one such place; a mountain range so rugged and remote that it has been essentially overlooked. That’s what makes it so compelling for us! Our May 2015 Photo of the Month, features the dramatic granite walls, which make the Revelation Mountains the quintessential alpine playground for those who thrive on visiting truly remote and beautiful mountain ranges. Experience this for yourself on our incomparable Backpacking the Revelation Mountains trip.
Our February 2015 Photo of the Month features a shot from the shore of Turquoise Lake in Lake Clark National Park. The photo was taken at sunset as three lucky hikers got to experience the interplay between shadow and light in Alaska's late summer. Experience this for yourself on our incomparable Turquoise Kayak and Hike trip.
I still remember opening the manila envelope. Large enough to contain a vintage copy of Rolling Stone Magazine, its contents to me were even more exciting – a stack of National Park brochures postmarked from Alaska! Though they felt stiff and official, the unfolded brochures offered a distinct portrayal of Alaska’s great parks, and as I admired each photo and studied each narrative, I began to layer the pictures and text onto what had heretofore only been my Alaska imagination. The result was an Alaska inspiration, and I was suddenly rapt in the process of planning my first Alaska wilderness trip.
There has been a lot of writing about the legendary Dick Proenneke of Twin Lakes, Alaska in Lake Clark National Park. It is hard to imagine a piece shedding more light on this often talked and written about character. But, this latest article offers an intimate glimpse into Dick's predominant pastime, exploring the expansive mountains surrounding his home at Twin Lakes.
In December I introduced you to Mark Stevens in a 2010 photo taken at Dick Proenneke's log cabin on Twin Lakes, deep in the heart of Lake Clark National Park. I immediately received a whole host of questions posed like "what kind of adventure trips have you guys done together in last 10 years?" So here's a starter!
This shot was taken by adventure photographer Corey Rich in August of 2008 on the Chilikadrotna River in Lake Clark National Park. It appears in the March issue of Men's Journal Magazine. And for those of you who haven't met me, at least with this photo you'll have the chance to put the name with the face! Click here to see more of Corey's spectacular images from the trip.
I took this shot in July of 2004 while guiding our Turquoise to Twin Traverse backpacking trip in Lake Clark National Park. Pictured is our first camp at the spectacular and remote Turquoise Lake - located right in the heart of the park. Access to this amazing wilderness is solely by floatplane and roughly a 1.5 hour flight from Anchorage.
In June of 2008, I was contacted by Men's Journal Magazine after word of an emerging environmental story coming out of Alaska had begun to draw national attention. The proposed Pebble Mine was a battle we had been involved with since 2004 and one around which stakeholders across a broad spectrum of user groups had been galvanizing. When editor Daniel Duane called me that June, an incredibly diverse and unique coalition had long been formed and was firmly entrenched in the battle to save Bristol Bay, and the largest sustainable salmon fishery on earth. Sport hunters and fishers, commercial fisherman and women, lodge owners, roughnecks, and native groups had joined forces with environmental activists to fight the multi-national mining interests bent on developing what could possibly be the largest open-pit mine on earth - perched right at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. The stake of the deposit, the overwhelming magnitude of the project, the threat to the salmon fishery, and the uniqueness of the coalition, combined with almost 4 years of local headline news had provided the spark to to ignite the national media. Suddenly, it seemed journalists from the New York Times, Outside Magazine, National Parks Magazine, National Geographic, and Frontline, were flooding the Bristol Bay region and as a consequence flooding the world with information about this special place on earth.
In late August, 2008, I hopped on my Honda 4-wheeler and bounced down the dusty airstrip to pick up Daniel and renown photo-journalist Corey Rich after their amazing bush flight to Lake Clark. Our goal was to spend the next 9-days rafting the Chilikadrotna River, one of the tributaries threatened by the proposed mine, exploring the watershed, gathering images and stories from the region, and formulating a plan to spread the word of this development to the rest of the world. To complete the story and the team, we were joined by Dr. Carol Ann Woody - the go-to fisheries biologist in the Bristol Bay watershed -, her husband and fellow scientist Dr. Joel Reynolds (Joel's a biometrician), and Lance Holter, an environmental activist from Maui with a penchant for big conservation battles, Alaska's wild spaces, and for catching big fish on a fly rod.
And so the expedition began. After a couple of floatplane rides, we found ourselves on Twin Lakes and the headwaters of the Chili. We spent the rest of the trip rafting, fishing, watching bears, catching fish, eating well, driking scotch, and talking about Alaska - not the Alaska one would see from a bus or cruise ship, but the "REAL" Alaska - the one in which we found ourselves thoroughly immersed. While I could go on forever about the trip, I won't. The ariticle was featured in the March, 2009 issue of Men's Journal and was associated with the video above. Daniel Duane and Corey Rich do a far better job than I ever could. Enjoy and thanks for helping to protect Alaska's Bristol Bay Region - the fight goes on.
The Mining Threat
Both Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks are currently being threatened by the development of the Pebble Mine - a large scale, open pit, strip mine proposed for the headwaters of the Bristol Bay region. Both the Nushagak and Kvichak Rivers are threatened - systems that support thee world's largest sockeye salmon fishery, were designated Alaska's first trophy rainbow trout area, and provide rearing and spawning habitat in both Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks for all five species of pacific salmon.
The Bristol Bay area is known for its fishing, both commercial and sport, its stunning landscapes, its tremendous wildlife populations, and its wilderness value. Sustainable industries like ecotourism and commercial and sport fishing bring millions of dollars of revenue to the state of Alaska every year. Large-scale mining in this area would eliminate ecotourism opportunities and threaten thriving businesses that depend upon clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and intact ecosystems.
Alaska Alpine Adventures strongly opposes the proposed Pebble Mine and the development of a massive mining district in this incredibly sensitive and spectacular wilderness.
To learn more about the proposed Pebble Mine development and to help protect it, please visit Trout Unlimited.
Dan Oberlatz - Owner