It took three trips, but I was finally able to see the mountain. I visited Denali twice in winter, and both times it was completely shrouded in clouds. I learned that 70% of people who visit Denali never get to see it, the weather being so frequently unforgiving. But on my third attempt the following autumn, I couldn’t have asked for better conditions. I arrived, by luck, 3 days before the only road in is bared for the winter, and only 6 other people got on the bus for backcountry access, I’d never felt more remote and alone, but not in a lonely way. It was nice naturey feeling, knowing there was barely a soul or trace of mankind within 100 miles of me. I had the mountains and the rivers to myself, and it was lovely. Well, not totally to myself, lots of animal sighting including my first pack of wolves! Unfortunately they were on the ridge opposite a massive valley so no worthwhile photos, but to hear a howl when the auroras started blazing away was an exhilarating experience.
Some awesome rewards for braving the cold of the Alaskan winter, I found all sorts of interesting ice formations in the form of frozen falls, glacial caves and lakes locked in 6′ of ice. Granted it took about 6 months for me to regain feeling in my toes again, but at the time it seemed like a small price to pay for such wonderful and unique views.
A collection of shots that I’m still catching up on from last winter’s trip, this bunch from around Wrangell-St. Elias, a remote national park in Alaska, as well as the remains of a lot of mining history and abandoned structures dotted along the Alaskan and Yukon wilderness.
Amazing how much a few months can change a place. This is the same mountain pass from the previous post. Definitely a different feel from when its not encased in 10 feet of snow, and made for a much more enjoyable hiking.
Not sure where the pooch came from, but it was nice to have some company for bit til she trotted off down the mountain.
I found her people but she went off exploring the mountain on her own. I need a mountain dog…
This guy’s got alpine travel figured out. I think when my knee finally goes I’m gonna go this route.
Sketchy crossings, no problem for the slow and steady…
Autumn found in pockets amongst the pine. There were also entire mountainsides which were a blanket of yellow birch and spruce.
I’d been on the road for a week at this point, and hadn’t found a shower in awhile. This is me, debating whether to brave the cold and take a bath in this lovely little alpine lake… Frigid but completely worth it.
Nice little ptarmigan, funny little birds and not in the least bit shy.