Category archives for Alaska

Alaska: Hike Lost Lake

  Find your bliss in the Land of the Midnight Sun by backpacking one of the most scenic trails on the Kenai Peninsula. What Is It? This 15-mile moderately challenging point-to-point route begins at mile post 5 on the Seward Highway and climbs 2,000 feet. After the first 7.5 miles, you’ll link up with the…

Mountain endurance athlete Kilian Jornet set a new speed record on 20,322-foot Mount McKinley, or Denali, in Alaska, on June 7, 2014. The 26-year-old Catalonian’s ascent and descent took 11 hours and 48 minutes, which was five hours faster than the previous record of 16 hours 46 minutes set by Ed Warren in 2013. Jornet used skis…

See Cameron Lawson’s previous dispatches on Alaska’s Lost Coast >> Thousands of dead dog sharks are scattered along the beach from a high tide that vanished hours ago. The sun is intense today and the fish are literally baking in the heat. Wafts of decay fill the salt air as we weave around twisted carcasses…

See Cameron Lawson’s previous dispatches on Alaska’s Lost Coast >> With our bikes strapped tightly to the bow, we wedge ourselves into puny Alpacka rafts, and get ready to cross the mighty Alsek, an enormous river that empties into Dry Bay at an average flow of 80,000 cubic feet per minute. Before shoving off, we…

Iris runs her finger along the wrinkled topographic map as we get our bearings along the Lost Coast approximately 50 miles southeast of the Yakutat airport. The maps were produced in 1961, and we soon discover that some of the features—such as rivers—have shifted, dried up, or been replaced with dense vegetation. “Hey Cam, the…

See Cameron Lawson’s previous dispatches on Alaska’s Lost Coast >> A twinge of nervous energy flowed through my body as I entered the small, metal airport terminal in Yakutat in search of my companion for the Lost Coast expedition ahead. Amongst a dispersed crowd of tourists dressed in chic outdoor gear and a handful of…

Gripped, edges in on the 60-degree slope, and terrified beyond my wits, it slowly occurred to me that skiing Denali’s Rescue Couloir had not been the best idea in these conditions. Looking down the gullet of Rescue from just below 17,000-ft. camp, the idea of descending through the thin chute, lined with jagged shale incisors…

Read Cameron’s previous posts on Alaska’s Lost Coast >> Before departing for Alaska’s Lost Coast, my partner and I had never met, and we certainly didn’t know if we’d make good traveling companions. We had a 200-mile journey through remote Alaskan wilderness ahead of us, and we both had a lot of questions brewing in…

Anyone who thinks that the climbing of Denali is a picnic is badly mistaken. –Hudson Stuck, one of the first four men to reach the summit of Denali on June 7, 1913 On June 8, a team of 14 climbers, skiers, and friends—myself included—set out from Talkeetna into the Alaska Range with the intent of…

In late July, writer-photographer-adventurer Cameron Lawson and a near stranger will use fat-tired bikes and packrafts to travel approximately 350 miles along Alaska’s Lost Coast. Getting from Yakutat to Juneau will take 14 to 17 days. The majority of this adventure is highly isolated and void of civilization and will entail lots of beach riding,…

In late July, writer-photographer-adventurer Cameron Lawson and a new friend will use fat-tired bikes and packrafts to travel approximately 350 miles along Alaska’s Lost Coast. Getting from Yakutat to Juneau will take 14 to 17 days. The majority of this adventure is highly isolated and void of civilization and will entail lots of beach riding,…

On Sunday June 9, the Expedition Denali team was deposited safely at Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier in Alaska. The National Outdoor Leadership School made arrangements to shuttle by Otter turbo-prop cargo plane the nine climbers, four cameramen, and six instructors, along with their gear, to set up tents on the mountain. One hundred…

The draw of the distant and inhospitable peaks of this world is in my blood. My father Alex Lowe and now stepfather Conrad Anker have enough first accents, daring rescues, and cardinal accomplishments in the high mountains all over the world to outdo most anyone in the history of the climbing. For a young man…

Expedition Denali Short from Distill Productions, LLC on Vimeo. I’ve been told it shouldn’t matter. But as one in a handful of black professionals in the outdoor recreation industry, I can’t help being wildly excited. In June the first team of African-American climbers will attempt to reach the summit of Alaska’s Mount McKinley, the tallest…

See previous dispatches >> A cold, dark winter subsides as the days grow longer and the sun’s rays intensify. The inevitable change in seasons triggers an innate response in all living creatures—bears awake from hibernation, birds take flight, and fish swim upstream. Migration is a matter of survival for certain animal species while select humans…

A snowboarding pioneer risked his career to usher in a new era of exploration in the world’s wildest mountain ranges. Vote for Jeremy Jones See photos of all ten Adventurers of the Year! “There is no longer anywhere in the world that I consider too hard to get to,” says big-mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones. In…

Last Friday we announced the ten inspising 2013 Adventurers of the Year. Each has shown a long-term commitment to striving, suffering, and rejoicing in adventure—in diverse ways. They prove that great adventures do still exist. Now you must decide which one will become the new People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year for 2013 by voting every day for…

After a summer of training hard in Washington’s Cascade Range, British Columbia’s Waddington Range, and Alaska’s Chugach Range, the Expedition Denali team is poised to embark on their journey to Denali in June 2013. This film clip will give you a brief window into their training this past summer and their thoughts on the upcoming…

If there is a Wild West to Alaska heli-skiing it can be found at the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge (TML). Accessible only by small aircraft, TML is a 40-minute flight from the city of Anchorage. Serving as the base camp to mountain and river adventures, the lodge offers a rare solitude, perched on the edge of…

Contributing writer Casey Dean helped with this post. We have peaks on the brain here at NOLS, as one of our own returns from an expedition to the highest point in the world and our Expedition Denali team prepares for a summer of training on glaciers in Alaska, the Waddington, and the Wind River Range.…

NOLS is training the Expedition Denali team for their 2013 attempt to summit Denali. With the help of Climb Strong, we’ve set up a rigorous fitness regimen that will whip the team into shape. They’ve already established a base level of fitness and have started building it up with a simple 30-minute metabolic workout. Follow…

We adventurers often daydream of climbing rugged peaks, swimming in pristine high alpine lakes, traversing across blue-green glaciers, or trekking along rugged ridgelines with dramatic views  … while we’re sitting at our desk eating donuts. Do you feel like reaching for your next adventure is just making your arms sore? At NOLS, we’re working with…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) On June 7, 1913, Alaska Native Walter Harper was the first person to summit Denali, the highest peak in North America. And though the face of our nation has evolved from mostly white to a mosaic…

By Fitz Cahall; Video still by Bryan Smith Watch more Fringe Elements videos >> In the last year, splitboarding has reached a tipping point. Ski movie stalwarts Teton Gravity Research released Deeper, which featured snowboards that transform into skis, to much fanfare. In the last three years, several snowboard companies have begun aggressively marketing these…

By Tetsuhiko Endo; Photograph by Bob Hallinen, Landov, see more adventurers in our Ultimate Adventurers gallery. The long, cold winter is winding down for most of us, but in Alaska, they are gearing up for one last hurrah. That’s right, the 86th Iditarod kicks off March 6. The dogsledding race goes from Anchorage to Nome,…