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!
It’s been 16 years since Derek and I launched Alaska Alpine Adventures with a meager life savings (after all we were ski/climb bums) and a notion that we’d stumbled upon something very special - a national park with millions of acres of untouched wilderness, endless rivers, glaciers, lakes, and mountains, a paucity of visitors, abundant wildlife, and a rich cultural history tied to salmon. Lake Clark felt like a blank canvas that was ours to paint and I remember often thinking to myself, ‘is this for real?’ - how can it be that a place this amazing has seen so little in the way of exploration? How can it be that most of these mountains remain unclimbed? How can it be that there aren’t people clambering to experience this wonderful piece of the planet?’ It simply seemed to me that this incredible opportunity was ours for the taking, and we jumped at it. Nearly two decades later, I’m on a flight returning from the 12th annual Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in Puerto Varas, Chile and reflecting on one of the conference's most curious questions - what exactly is adventure travel? That question, as it turns out, is difficult for some to answer, but for me the answer lies squarely in Alaska!
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 December 2014 Photo of the Month features a shot from our exploratory trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this past summer. We traversed over 100 miles of the Refuge, from the Kongakut River to the Hulahula River and saw some awe inspiring terrain along the way. The trip was such a success that it inspired one of our new offerings for 2015: Backpacking the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Each time I am lucky enough to travel to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I am left with the same thought at the conclusion of the trip: “I would fly right back tomorrow if I could”. Many guests I have traveled with have echoed that same sentiment. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a place that pulls at you, calls you back, reveals just enough of itself to tempt you to look for more.
I've decided to dedicate the next few images to Denali National Park - a place we got to know a little better this past summer. As many of you know, my passion is exploring the unexplored. I'm thankful to live in a place on earth where the notion of "unexplored" is real and opportunity to share these landscapes with others is possible.
Welcome to the last photo from our June, 2009 adventure into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! On this trip we climbed the highest peak in the Brooks Range - Mt. Chamberlin - and rafted out the Hulahula River to the village of Kaktovik.
Welcome to photo #3 from our June, 2009 adventure into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! On this trip we climbed the highest peak in the Brooks Range - Mt. Chamberlin - and rafted out the Hulahula River to the village of Kaktovik.
As I was editing my slides (yes I'm still a 35mm film guy!!!) from last summer, this image nearly jumped from the light table. It fit my parameters for a photo of the month - an image that conveys solitude, bewilderment, wonder, wilderness, and adventure.