Alaska-Yukon Expedition

March-September 2010 A 4,700-mile 6-month journey by foot, skis and packraft through Big Wilderness. As seen in the March 2011 issue of National Geographic.

My first ultra long-distance adventure

Unlike my other mega trips—the Sea-to-Sea Route and the Great Western Loop—on this trip there was no obvious trail network to follow. Instead, my route and travel style were dictated to me by the environment: I skied across the Interior’s swamps while they were still frozen and snow-covered; I hiked along game trails, beaches and flood plains to avoid brush and tussocks; and in my inflatable packraft I paddled rivers and open bays that could take me in my desired direction of travel.

In addition to the variable travel, Alaska and Yukon are also revered for their extreme weather and extreme topographical features, e.g. glaciers, glacier-fed rivers and vast uninhabited areas. More than once, I longed for the West’s predictable summer weather and the Appalachian’s friendly terrain.

As in other life ventures, however, my experience is that the more effort I put into a project, the greater its rewards. This trip absolutely confirmed that—it is the most enriching, powerful experience I’ve had to date.

Descending from a high pass into the Canning River, Brooks Range.

Buy now!
National Geographic
March 2011

Signed copies of a 16-page article on the Alaska-Yukon Expedition. Makes a great keepsake or gift, or a special edition in your National Geographic collection.