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Shooting the Aurora

Shooting the Aurora

The perfect blend of clear weather and intense solar storms last week produced spectacular displays of the aurora borealis over Eagle River. Those willing to wait out the night and brave winter weather were treated to heavenly spectacles rarely rivaled in Southcentral Alaska.
For the birds

For the birds

It’s early Sunday morning and I’m sitting in the front of an SUV, creeping around Eagle River with a team of people I’ve just met: Tracy Lohman and her son, Lucas, 11, and his teacher, Kelsey Chalker, all who have driven in from Anchorage.
Kings in cycle: Salmon populations follow boom and bust pattern

Kings in cycle: Salmon populations follow boom and bust pattern

Dena’ina tradition holds that each spring when the Golden Crown Sparrow warbles its distinctive three-note song the first of the five Pacific salmon runs to the Cook Inlet have arrived.

Morris Communications presents “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon”

For many years we have watched the ebb and flow of salmon in Alaska’s waters; in particular, the great king salmon and the world’s greatest salmon fishery, the Kenai River. Salmon of all types play a major role in the life and wellbeing of our state. They provide food, subsistence, income, commercial activity and sport.
State Fair open for fun

State Fair open for fun

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Archive » Mountain Echos

Matanuska Peak’s slopes require patience, focus

Matanuska Peak’s slopes require patience, focus

Rocks — we had entered a kingdom of rocks. Rocks the size of washing machines, some as big as microwave ovens; and tucked in between, boulders the size of basketballs. As we slowly moved upward, we encountered rocks with unending surprises. Every so often, without warning and at the slightest touch, they wanted to move — eager to yield to gravity.
Berry Pass filled with beauty, bears

Berry Pass filled with beauty, bears

On the final ascent into what is called “Berry Pass,” I realized I’d have to revise my “Top 10” hiking list, published in the Star last year. This trail deserved to be ranked in the top five, along with Lost Lake and Kesugi Ridge.
Richard Baranow completes mountain quest

Richard Baranow completes mountain quest

Richard Baranow drew in a deep breath and looked across a seemingly endless expanse of snow-clad mountains. More than 20 miles to the north was the sprawling Knik Glacier ramping up to the Chugach Mountain giant, 13,176-foot Mount Marcus Baker. It was a sunny afternoon on April 30th of this year, and Baranow was standing near the southeast corner of Chugach State Park on the snowy summit of a 6,390-foot peak known as Whitecrown. A day earlier he and climbing partner Ross Noffsinger had summited a nearby lesser peak known only by its elevation in feet—4380. They were the last two peaks of a quest Baranow had unintentionally begun decades earlier: to climb all of the 166 true peaks in the Western Chugach Mountains, unassisted by any type of off-road motorized support; i.e. by not using aircraft, four-wheelers, or snowmachines in their approach.
On outdoor trips, look for the little things

On outdoor trips, look for the little things

We’re blessed with a land of big vistas, but often the most memorable sights during our hikes are the little things: alpine wildflowers, insects, odd-shaped clouds drifting across the sky, the subtle shift of shadows on distant mountains, or a mysterious bird call.
Plane crash victims, survivors, memorialized by Boy Scout plaques

Plane crash victims, survivors, memorialized by Boy Scout plaques

On November 15, 1957, about 6:20 p.m., a B-29 training aircraft from Elmendorf Air Force Base with a crew of 10 was returning to base after a radar-calibrating mission farther north. Weather had deteriorated and the ceiling had dropped to below 5,000 feet as they made their way south past Talkeetna. A routine radio report from the aircraft reported no problems. The plane was scheduled to arrive at Elmendorf about 7 p.m.
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