Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Stories

Entering Alaska: Pipelines, Rations, and One Major Wrong Turn

The first couple days of an Alaskan backpacking trip were filled with organizational efforts and one false start, plus plenty of stunning scenery.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.


alaska slideshow 1 445x260

My seat on the plane. A direct flight from Denver to Anchorage is about 5.5 hours.

alaska slideshow 2 445x260

When this is the view from a run-of-the-mill Anchorage hotel parking lot, you know you’re in for an adventure.

alaska slideshow 3 445x260

Hoarding carbs: This wide array of bars would be breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the next five days. Not pictured: A 1lb bag of peanut M&Ms which I didn’t share.

alaska slideshow 4 445x260

A variety of quick-cook pastas and stir-in protein packs would be dinner, every night.

alaska slideshow 5 445x260

The pipeline is really, really long. Apparently, in an earthquake the support stanchions for the above-ground portions are intended to fall away and let the pipline fall to the ground without too much jostling.

alaska slideshow 6 445x260

Hike 1: Our eager attempt to head up the Canwell Glacier along the creek for a hut-to-hut trip was thwarted by a wrong turn, rain, extensive bushwhacking, and one bloated stream. We would abort the route and head out elsewhere the next day.

alaska slideshow 7 445x260

Thankfully bushwhacking is fun. Especially if you’re dressed for a tsunami when it’s only misting and about 45 degrees.

Check out the full report on Alaska on our frequently updated trip page.