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Colorado to Alaska 2016

As my first real backpacking experience the 4700 mile journey from Steamboat Springs, CO to Prudhoe Bay, AK was a trial by fire.  Starting in the middle of May on 8 feet of snow, I began the trip that would have me finish in snow on October 1st at Alaska’s Arctic coastline.  From the high ridgelines and rugged peaks of the U.S. and Canadian Rockies, to the strong currents and unpredictable weather on the mighty Yukon River, and North through the Brooks Range of Alaska.  The trip was a fabulous expression of not only the grand beauty of the wilderness, but what we can all be capable of.

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Unfinished Business Merinoholics Adventures Martin

Unfinished Business

Unfinished business: a trip back to where I left off

 

This summer, I felt ready.

I was going back to Pioneer Peak. Last year I got to the South Summit and back, after a fairly strenuous 10 hour-hike, over 12 miles and 6000 ft of elevation gain.
A ridge separates the South from the North Summit. There is only a 50 feet difference in height between the two summits, but I felt compelled to get to the top of the highest one. The ridge that separates the two peaks is pretty exposed and requires some fairly descent scrambling skills. I knew it could still be challenging but I wanted to try it.READ MORE

Pioneer Peak Minus33 Merinoholics Adventures

Hiking Pioneer Peak

Since I moved to Alaska in the winter of 2012, the mountains have been calling me.

 

I became an outdoor enthusiast fairly quickly and soon found myself on a quest to step beyond the tree line and seek the pristine air of high altitudes. 2 years ago, while doing some research, I came across a mountain that stuck with me. Pioneer Peak massively rises above the town of Palmer, in the Matanuska valley, at an elevation of 6,398 ft.

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minus 33 merino wool clothing, overnight hiking, mountains, winter, snow

Nature’s Cold Challenge

I Love Overnight Hiking.

 

It allows me to take on longer trails, enables me to spend more time to appreciate nature and disconnect from the busy life. Winters in the mountains are usually pretty quiet. Most of the wildlife has either traveled to warmer climates or gone into hibernation, the sap of the trees and bushes made its way down to the roots until the temperature rises again in the spring. The layer of snow that covers everything dampens all sounds and creates a feeling of stillness and peacefulness. A few hikers might brave the cold for a day trip.

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minus 33 merino wool clothing, Alaskan Adventures

Tough on Nature, Soft on Skin

Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a sensitive skin.

 

I couldn’t go to the swimming pool without developing a rash from the chlorinated water. I went through spouts of eczema and allergic reactions most of my life. I cannot wear any synthetic fabric for too long and I can definitely not have polyester on my skin when involved in intense physical activity. As I’ve learned to avoid those situations altogether, it has never been a major problem for me. But it eventually changed, when I moved to Alaska and felt compelled to take on the outdoors through various sports.READ MORE

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