The Last Frontier

A frozen wilderness, the last frontier, land of the midnight sun… that’s just a selection of the slogans used to describe Alaska. In all honesty I wasn’t sure I’d ever have a chance to visit, and I certainly didn’t expect to come in mid-Winter, but with thermals in hand, on foot and just about everywhere else, a trip to the uppermost state of America proves that slogans are created for a reason.

Up until now Iceland had been my most Northerly adventure, and that one happened in mid-Summer, so I wasn’t quite prepared for just how cold these places can get. Let’s just say that -20 degrees celcius puts icicles on your eyelids. But say you’re cold to a local and they’ll laugh in your face. “This? Oh, this is warm.” It turns out they have a special club dedicated to those willing to strip to their underwear and run around practically naked in -40 degrees! I don’t even want to think about the places you could get frostbite.

So January in Alaska it is, and what a place. I’ve walked on a glacier, I’ve climbed a mountain and I’ve even seen the Northern Lights, that in itself is worth the plane fare alone. It’s not quite the remote outpost I’ve always imagined, there’s great food, there’s lots to do, and after a few days, I’m even getting used to the cold. Here’s a little sample of my trip:

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