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The Last Frontier { Alaska

It finally happened! After days on the road and thousands of miles later I crossed into the last frontier, our 49th state up in the far North. For as long as I can remember now I’ve always dreamed of coming to Alaska and seeing such a true rugged and wild wilderness. Denali National Park itself is bigger than the state of Massachusetts, yet population density is the lowest in the nation. All while the wildlife is absurdly abundant. Our first stop was Anchorage where I got to ride Alyeska Ski Resort and some some urban style features too. Although I came here to ride large mountains, so off to Valdez it is.

On the road to Valdez Alaska, the birthplace of true big mountain riding.

Port of Valdez, Harbor.

Berlin Wall. The first arena explored.

Base camp misfits.

Once in Valdez, camp was set up and I soon began linking up with friends and exploring terrain. I met up again with Morgan Hebert and some of his Alaskan friends as we snowmobiled and tailgated for a couple weeks on Thompson Pass while riding huge lines and navigating more technical zones. Nights would succumb to fire building and whiskey passing, all while keeping an eye out for Northern Lights and their strange mystique.

The Aurora Borealis over camp.

Nick Stangl: Brewing tea for an evening tour (L). 8pm and about to drop Little Man On The Boat (R).

Touring for miles.

Valley of the Tusk.

Little Matterhorn.

Terrible views.

The Books.

Towards the end of the trip, I linked up with Zach Clanton, Curtis Woodman, Gray Thompson, Sean Sullivan and Ross Philips to collaborate on some missions. However, right off the bat gear issues and warming weather plagued us. Therefore, we turned to some alternative adventures. One of our biggest highlights was Paul, a local Alaskan who offered to take us out on his sailboat and explore around the Prince William Sound in the Port of Valdez. We ended up spending a full day sharing stories, looking for wildlife, shooting guns and drinking beer. Such a perfect end to an amazing trip.

Pick one.

Got to ride my steepest couloir to date.

Zach Clanton, transitioning back into climbing.

Weather left us unable to camp here, however I’ll be back…

The standard.

Just hanging out on some cliffs, eating grass.

Paul, a true Alaskan.

Shrimpin.

The end to a perfect day touring around the Prince William Sound.

On the way home, I  caravanned with some other buddies in the area all the way back to the Liard Hot Springs in Northern B.C., and eventually to Oregon. where I am back into the summer groove of snowboarding on Mt. Hood, fly fishing, skateboarding and gearing up for some summer work.

Oh I’ll be back…