Archive of: Mountain Echoes



Four-Mile Creek ridge hike: a lesson in perseverance September Issue 2 2014

Four-Mile Creek ridge hike: a lesson in perseverance

Hiking east on the ridge past Mt. Eklutna (4,110 feet) above Peters Creek, Pete Panarese and I had our first glimpse of our entire route--a 17-mile circumnavigation of the entire Four-Mile Creek drainage. On most hikes a person only sees single parts of the trip at a time; but here it was laid out before us -- and needless to say-- was quite intimidating.

A ‘berry’ frustrating tale August Issue 3 2014

A ‘berry’ frustrating tale

Anyone who isn’t aware we have one of the best berry crops in years has been locked inside a closet. If you’re inclined toward hiking above the tree line you’ll notice a proliferation of blueberries and crowberries. I haven’t seen it myself, but I’m told that down toward Girdwood and farther south on the Kenai Peninsula, the wild salmon berries and raspberries are also profuse.

TOP 10 Alaska hikes July Issue 5 2014

TOP 10 Alaska hikes

For those who have perused my ‘Mountain Echoes’ column over the years, it’s probably quite evident what my favorite hikes are. But there’s nothing wrong with a review. What I hope is to peak your interest in trying a few out yourself. I’ll start with my absolute favorite and work down the list, with the caveat that even number 10, at the bottom of the list, is stellar in my opinion.

‘Breaking Tired’ en route to an old haunt June Issue 4 2014

‘Breaking Tired’ en route to an old haunt

Between marathon sessions of the television series “Breaking Bad,” suffering from a precipitous drop in my daily sleep allotment, I’ve tried to fit in several hikes to take advantage of our beautiful May and June weather. A recent sojourn, however, reminded me that acquiring sufficient sleep is quite essential for rigorous activity.

A hike to Flute Glacier, and a step back in time June Issue 1 2014

A hike to Flute Glacier, and a step back in time

A hike to Flute Glacier during summer and fall is definitely a rewarding trip that allows you the trace the geologic history of glacially-carved valleys (South Fork Valley and Flute Glacier Valley). Flute Glacier is about 25 miles due east of Anchorage, and while it is the city’s closest glacier, it doesn’t receive much attention from hikers.

Crescent Lake cabin is a great destination May Issue 5 2014

Crescent Lake cabin is a great destination

I realize everyone is now into summer and things that are green, but I’m still catching up on some late-winter outings, one of which was a memorable ski March 19 across Carter and Crescent Lakes on the Kenai Peninsula, in Chugach National Forest.

May Issue 3 2014

Aiming for the last of winter on Gunsight mountain

Following snow machine tracks up a mountain seems like cheating, but it’s probably one of the more efficient ways to get up 6,441-foot Gunsight Mountain during winter, whether you prefer skis or snowshoes.

Escaping time on Kesugi Ridge — part 2 October Issue 5 2013

Escaping time on Kesugi Ridge — part 2

My friend, Pete, told me that former Denali Park Ranger and mountaineering legend, Dave Johnston, had pioneered most of the trails in the area, including those on Kesugi Ridge. Encompassing 325,240 acres, or about one-half the size of Rhode Island, Denali State Park was established to the south and east of Denali National Park and Preserve in 1970, and it expanded in 1976.

Finding winter on Fiddlehead November Issue 2 2013

Finding winter on Fiddlehead

At roughly 4,000 feet, the ridge narrowed and steepened on both sides. It was loaded with wind-driven snow — much more than we had anticipated. It was time for a decision — do we keep going, or turn around and call it “good” for the day?

November Issue 1 2013

Movie ‘Gravity’ pulls you in

If you haven’t yet seen the motion picture “Gravity,” I urge you to go and splurge for the IMAX 3-D. It is quite literally and figuratively an “out of this world” cinematic experience.

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