Out on the Chikat River ice after work today sees the sun dipping behind the omnipotent peaks of the mighty Chilkat Range and spindfift blasting from it’s summits. The wind must have been over 60 mph up there. Out there on the frozen river, the temps were close to zero with the windchill. Alaska in winter is spectacular to say the least…
2016 has been a good year. There has been much activity on my end regarding photography and video production and the hope and dream of one day not having to build houses for a living are just a teensy bit closer. There have been many small adventures in the form of day hikes, or stomps, as I like to call them, generally along the forested Bear trails along the Chilkat and Tsirku Rivers. Often is the case when I simply head out into the Alaskan forests and thickets and stomp, off trail, to glorious and unheralded spots for my own simple pleasure.
There was even one big adventure this year when I embarked on a pedaling trip aboard the omnipotent Surly Ogre and rode from my house in Haines to Skagway via Whitehorse. A mere eight day voyage that was over far too soon. Next year there are tentative plans for a ten day trip down a portion of Alaska’s magical and seldom visited outer coast, AKA the Lost Coast. A trip that will involve both legs, packraft, and bush plane. Also planned is a mountaineering trip somewhere locally with a friend from down south coming for an adventure in August.
Unfortunately, writing has been on the back burner, but capturing the Alaska world on video has been my focus. This latest video “OK In The AK” is all footage from the venerable Autumn here in Haines, and compiled as both a show piece for selling stock video as well as an artistic expression of the wilderness prevailing.
I hope you enjoy!
Ever since I heard about my friend Cameron Lawson’s adventure of riding a fat bike and packrafting the entire length of Alaska’s Lost Coast over the course of two summers, I have been somewhat infatuated by the place. Now, having moved to Haines three years back, the magical Lost Coast is in my back yard, so to speak. It was time for a re-con trip. Our group, consisting of Gene and Michele Cornelius, Angela Carter, Paul Swantsrom, and myself meet at the landing strip about 9 am, mount Gene’s new stabilized gimbal cam to the wing strut, and off we go in the 1956 DeHaviland Beaver, bound for Alsek Lake and the Lost Coast.
This mission was one of gathering aerial footage for financial and artistic gain, but for me it was far more, My insane love for this country out there has me on the constant lookout for opportunity to explore. Out past the Takhinsha Peaks and into the bowels of the icefields and glaciers flowing into Glacier Bay, we finally come around face to face with Mt Crillion and Mt Fairweather… the Giants. Mt Fairweather, at over 15,000 feet high, and rising less then ten miles from the Gulf of Alaska, is one of the highest Coastal peaks in the world, enshrouded in massive glaciers and reputed as to having some of the worst weather on the planet.
Cruising up the desolate coast, we see far below to Alsek lake, where mighty Glaciers congregate into a freshwater bathtub of icegergs, is engulfed in a sizable wind storm. The massive curtains of dust clearly visible from the confines of the plane. We opt to land on the whimsical darkened sand of the Lost Coast itself, just north of the La Perouse Glacier, and Wolf and Grizzly tracks are spotted immediately. We do some shots of the plane landing and taking off, shoot a time lapse or two, and before you know it we are flying again upwards of 11,000 feet on the flanks of Fairweather itself.
This trip strengthened my desire for a trip out here again, this time armed with a pair of legs and a pack raft.. Coming in April or May of 2017.
Here is a quick edit of that day… Enjoy!
Brownie and ‘Lil Dickens playing in the Chilkoot River near Haines, Alaska
It had been some weeks since I had been out Chilkoot way… The summer hoards of tourists hoping to catch glimpses of the beautiful Chilkoot Bears has kept me away. Now, in September, the weir has been taken down, and the masses are at bay. I decide to head that way in hopes of seeing Speedy, Brownie, and ‘Lil Dickens on their home turf. Lucky for me, they are all there frolicking and catching the last of the year’s Chilkoot Salmon run. Here’s the footage from today…
Today’s edit of recent shots compiled… Most of the shots in this short have never seen the light of day till now.
If you enjoy this, please visit Pond 5 and check out my portfolio of stock video.