Archive of: Mountain Echoes

Issue

Title

March Issue 1 2013

Are Fairbanks winters among nation’s crummiest?

I’m not sure how he did his research, but John Metcalfe, a staff writer at The Atlantic Cities, (a website devoted to global cities and trends) has identified eight U.S. cities that he believes have the crummiest winters. They are Chicago, the nastiest; San Francisco, lamest; New York, filthiest; Syracuse, snowiest; Washington D.C., gridlockiest; Seattle, wussiest; Los Angeles, car destoryingist; and Fairbanks, most depressing.

A Grand journey — Stepping back in time February Issue 4 2013

A Grand journey — Stepping back in time

Note: In planning an upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon, I thought of this story from seven years ago, when I joined my daughter for an unforgettable hike down into one the world’s most fascinating natural wonders.

Support grows for Chugach State Park trails and rehab project February Issue 3 2013

Support grows for Chugach State Park trails and rehab project

Support for the Chugach State Park Park Access and Trail Rehabilitation Project has grown significantly in recent months, with more than 20 user groups and organizations endorsing a small set of projects that have been recently submitted to the Alaska Legislature for a $415,000 capital appropriation.

February Issue 2 2013

Dashing for the sun at Eklutna Lake

My skis made a swishing sound in the partially crystallized snow on Feb. 1 as I glided over Eklutna Lake, following a track I had put in a week earlier. I could see the faint outlines of other ski tracks, but not nearly as many as I expected given the superb conditions. With only a few inches of snow atop smooth, firm ice, it would have been great for skate skiers.

Mark Meyer —  A volunteer who “goes  farther” to make a difference February Issue 1 2013

Mark Meyer — A volunteer who “goes farther” to make a difference

From the jump-ball tip off to the final buzzer at Chugiak High School varsity basketball games, he’s always there — a stocky figure with an easy laugh who can be seen busily recording data, huddling with the team and spurring them on. Over the past 25 years, Mustang coaches have come and gone, the names of team members have changed, but Eagle River’s Mark Meyer is still there — from the gym floor to the locker room — a quiet yet unwavering force behind the team.

Confessions of a “foot hunter” —  truly an endangered species January Issue 5 2013

Confessions of a “foot hunter” — truly an endangered species

I thought about writing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head office in Washington D.C. to see if they would consider putting a rare and vanishing Alaska species on the endangered list: the human foot hunter. (Not a person who hunts feet, but one who uses his own feet for locomotion and access to hunting areas).

January Issue 4 2013

Small mistakes can become big issues

Anyone who has spent any time in Alaska’s outdoors has made mistakes — more than we’d like to admit. It’s a big state and there’s a lot of room for big errors. I’m not going to dwell here about obvious blunders — like forgetting mosquito repellent, matches, raincoat, not taking enough food, a knife or extra socks. I’ve done all of those things at least once, and some even worse. I’d rather confine this discussion to the more subtle, seemingly benign mistakes that can compound into bigger problems.

January Issue 3 2013

A day without oil is a nightmare

I’ve heard it said that you usually dream at night about what you thought during the day. Amidst the ongoing debate about the use of fossil fuels, global warming and alternative energy, I’d been thinking a lot about how different the world would be if there weren’t any petroleum products. Maybe I thought about it too much.

January Issue 2 2013

Mid-winter Chinook disdained by outdoor enthusiasts

Back when it was cold and our snow had a lovely fluffiness, I recall people bemoaning winter’s frigid grip and wishing for warmer weather. Their wish was granted at the end of 2012. And now, moving into 2013, our ground is covered by an endless sea of ice — smooth, glare ice; ice covered with water, ice covered with sand, gravel and kitty litter. We’ve been glaciated.

Going the distance for others…and then there are those who even go farther January Issue 1 2013

Going the distance for others…and then there are those who even go farther

A recent column about “going farther” during hikes and climbs got me to thinking more about those who go the extra mile for others. The thought was fresh in my mind because of the recent death of Anchorage’s Jim Crockett, a tireless advocate for the homeless and hungry.