Wrangell-St. Elias Backpacking July 2015

One of my favorite trips in Alaska. We ventured east to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park for a five day backpacking trip across glaciers. This was my longest and heaviest trek yet and our first time out on a glacier. We decided to go with an outfitter for this trip since we weren't familiar with the terrain and had no glacier skills. 

Starting from the old copper mining town of Kennecott we hiked several glaciers and learned how to work with crampons. Trusting that those spikes would hold me and my pack down an icy slope took a lot of mental coaching. We managed to do what was normally a two day hike in one day. So we were able to spend two nights at one site, take a "rest day" to do a crazy hike out to see Goat Hair glacier. We could hear it calving but wasn't able to see any of the ice fall. Scott and I then broke off from the group to explore some of grassy hills and I ended up getting attacked by a nesting ptarmigan. 

Favorite things from this trip: 

1. Watching Scott jump into a glacial water pool. The weather was so awesome that the guys went for a dip in a pool on the glacier.

2. Sitting up on the moraine after dinner and listening to the glacier move slowly below. 

3. Learning new trail recipes from our guide Ethan as well as glacier crossing skills and route finding. Oh yeah ... and learning about cool gear to add to our arsenal - always dangerous.

4. Our awesome companions on the trail and good camp conversation

5. Being reminded of the vastness of this universe and how small we are in it.