Archive of: Mountain Echoes



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.

Escaping time on Kesugi Ridge October Issue 4 2013

Escaping time on Kesugi Ridge

The alpine tundra atop Kesugi Ridge in mid-September was ablaze in autumn red — the bearberry and blueberry bushes creating a colorful grand finale only days before winter’s white cloak would fall upon the land.

Palmer Creek Valley: Ridge hiking, peering into the past October Issue 3 2013

Palmer Creek Valley: Ridge hiking, peering into the past

There was little wind and the sun was warm on my face Oct. 4 atop a Kenai Mountain ridge that bisected two valleys — Bear Creek on my left and Palmer Creek on my right — the latter one of the richest gold mining areas on the Kenai Peninsula from about 1895 through the 1930s.

October Issue 2 2013

Healthy lifestyles not rewarded under current system

Sir Edmund Hillary, Bradford Washburn, Fred Beckey and Yuichiro Miura. What do these people have in common? They’re all famous mountaineers. What else? They all lived (Beckey and Miura are still alive) past age 80 — primarily because of excellent physical conditioning acquired through a lifetime of rigorous physical exercise.

Gunsight climb includes lesson in preparation October Issue 1 2013

Gunsight climb includes lesson in preparation

With a few inches of new snow above 3,000 feet, my annual autumn climb up Gunsight Mountain on Sept. 20 quickly became more of a winter climb, as I paused to take some photos of Dall sheep that browsed on grass just below the snowline. I’ve seen them at nearly the same location on other hikes and in typical fashion, they grew nervous by my presence and made a quick disappearing act into Glacier Fan Creek Canyon.

September Issue 4 2013

Poems stir reflections on hope, preciousness of life

Not long ago, I wrote a short poem about a bird and emailed it to Tom Sexton, a recognized Alaskan poet. He replied with his own poem, also about a bird, that he’d written a day earlier.

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