Category Archives: expedition

Alcan to Ocean Expedition: Onward ho, cheesemongers! Pee, cheese, and Greek muses

If the Greeks ever sculpted statues of athletic women, Lynne would have been their muse. She meticulously applied sunblock to her alabaster skin, standing sleek and strong in the snow. She looked built for this, her finely chiseled but feminine arms enviable and each movement made with grace and purpose.

I peed my pants that morning. If it hadn’t been so funny, it would have been pretty embarrassing. Continue reading Alcan to Ocean Expedition: Onward ho, cheesemongers! Pee, cheese, and Greek muses

Alcan to Ocean Icecap Expedition: A teammate lost, a teammate gained

I’d spent the night alone on the Kaskawulsh glacier with a torrent of avalanches on the nearest mountain for company, thousands of pounds of ice crashing down its flank, not daring to venture beyond my safe zone- the circle around camp I’d probed for crevasses. “Bad news”, Jon called, he and Lynne emerging from the white wilderness. I gave Lynne a big hug between mouthfuls of pasta, a bowl in one hand, the tight pang in my chest dissipating. I’d spent hours pacing the soft snow, waiting for Jon and Jim to come back with Lynne, who’d been dropped off further up the glacier in a safer landing zone, free from the massive crevasses that pocked the area.

Continue reading Alcan to Ocean Icecap Expedition: A teammate lost, a teammate gained

Alcan to Ocean Icecap Expedition: Alone on the Kaskawulsh

The 3:30am night air bit into our exposed skin as we dismantled camp and prepared for the long ascent of a 15 mile day. Lynne would be dropped off at 5,500 feet, where the snow was more stable. Just the day before, Jim had punched through a very well-hidden crevasse while we traveled unroped, incredibly lucky it hadn’t been wider. To avoid the hazards of that section, and to meet Lynne before nightfall, we caught a few hours sleep before waking up for the big push. Continue reading Alcan to Ocean Icecap Expedition: Alone on the Kaskawulsh

Alcan to Ocean Icecap Expedition: Gear selection for a glacial ski-traverse

 

Notice the name change? We’ve reversed directions! We’re now officially traveling from the Kluane National Park in the Yukon (starting point: Alcan hwy), up the Kaskawulsh glacier and across the Hubbard, Seward and Columbus glacier into Alaska. We’ll continue on the Bagley Icefield, and then hang a left and try and make it as far Continue reading Alcan to Ocean Icecap Expedition: Gear selection for a glacial ski-traverse

Alcan to Ocean Icecap Expedition: The bags are packed!

This series was called Ocean to Alcan, but we’ve switched directions, so don’t be confused. Our 250+ mile ski traverse expedition from the Yukon to Alaska- across the Kaskawulsh, Hubbard, Seward, Columbus glaciers of the Kluane National Park, the Bagley Icefield and out the Bering glacier of Alaska- is upon us. Our bags are packed, and we’re just a few hours away from our meeting with the US border people at Dalton Cache, AK to get pre-clearance to do a wilderness crossing in the high mountains of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. It’s extremely difficult to get these types of pre-clearances these days, and we’re very lucky!

This is my only (near) real time entry for this expedition (written at 7am on May 6), as we set out on the trail tomorrow morning. We’ll hopefully be half way up the Kaskawulsh glacier here in the Yukon when you read this, but you can see if I’m right. Follow our GPS tracks by ‘liking’ this page:

www.facebook.com/ALCANtoAK/

A little video of the pack and a few last minute details. See you soon!