There is still snow on the ground here in McCarthy but it's definitely on the run. If things continue apace then by end of the week we should be looking at mostly bare ground with only patches of snow.
So summer is just round the corner in the north country! Time to make those summer plans for sure.
I want to feature a couple of our more adventurous treks in this newsletter - our Lake Clark High Country route and our most challenging trip, Wrangell/Skyscraper.
If you want a route that includes a lot of variety then this is a great one. We range from high alpine ridges and passes on down to lake-side camps and valley crossings.
And a real bonus on the trek is that we have lots of opportunity along the way to do some fishing. We visit three large lakes and all offer great fishing! And we are in no hurry so we have time to stop and fish them all.
We begin our journey at Lake Telaquana where a float plane drops us off. We'll want to try our luck with the fish before shouldering our packs for the hike up the first ridge.
Turquoise Lake is a favorite stop and we often take an extra day there for a bit of exploring. The fishing is also good near the inlet streams.
The hike out of Turquoise is our most ambitious day and we'll need an early start for this one. We travel up to the ridge line by following the steam that flows into Turquoise. Our reward for a hard day's work is a high camp just over the ridge with a great view of the next day's hiking.
We end up at Twin Lakes by the cabin of legendary Dick Proenecke who lived on the shores of upper Twin Lake for thirty years.
This is a beautiful route with lots of variety, a bit of adventure and some fishing tossed into the mix.
This trek is not for the faint of heart. Wrangell-St. Elias is known for rugged, demanding terrain but the Skyscraper route is in a class by itself. It's easily the most challenging route we have ever done. On our first attempt on this trip we coined the term Gonzo Backpacking in an attempt to capture the sense of next level adventure that it delivers. Wow.
You may think you're ready for a challenge but we know what this trek can dish out. So we are very selective about who we sign up.
We are offering this trip only once this summer and we have a few spots open in what will be a small group.
So what makes it so challenging? Well the ridges are taller and steeper for starters. When you get to the top of each ridge you will know that you've done something that day for sure. Unlike most of our other trips this one includes a couple days of serious bushwhacking that requires a slow and steady determination.
And then there is the river crossing which I can guarantee is more sporty than any crossing you have ever done.
Sounds like I'm trying to scare people off, but only those that are really not right for such a demanding trip. A trip like the Seven Pass, Pyramid Peak or the Goat Trail offers plenty of challenges along the way - you don't need to go over the top.
But if you are strong, fit and experienced and looking for a route where the rewards are as great as the challenges then take a look at Skyscraper.
And the rewards are there. The trek features some of the most amazing views to be found anywhere in the park and you will appreciate them all the more for having had to work hard to earn them. Take a look at the photos on our website.
When you pull into Nugget Creek you'll know what we mean by Gonzo Backpacking.
Just the Beginning
That just scratches the surface of the wide range of treks we are offering this summer. Below is a trip matrix that will help you find the trip that's perfect for you. Or check out the trek overview page on the website. Or just give us a call and we can talk through your interests and experience.