My 10 days in Alaska were an absolute whirlwind. Before I even touched ground the first night, I was blown away by the seemingly never-ending Front Range, a mountain range stretching beyond the horizon with hundreds of snow-capped and glaciated peaks. I visited seven towns, ice climbed on two glaciers, backcountry skied one peak, camped in five sites, flew to Denali Base Camp, hiked in Alyeska Ski Resort, and put a thousand miles on the odometer. Like I said- whirlwind.

Major takeaway number one: Alaska is a leviathan of a state. It’s home to North America’s tallest mountain, America’s largest national park, over 40,000 glaciers in Denali national park alone, and is the size of about half of the lower 48 (contiguous USA). It is huge. I traveled for 10 days and barely scratched the surface. Even people who live here their entire lives can’t see it all. This size translated into, for me, an immense appreciation for the natural world. It’s awe-inspiring to see and experience Alaska.

Major takeaway number two: This summer may very well be my favorite summer to date. Just driving around with some good music is incredible, let alone actually getting out of the car to zip line, raft, ice climb, hike, take tours, etc. Many people I met are from somewhere else. Most of them came for a week vacation, and then moved in permanently. So parents beware, your child may not want to leave. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure they get on the plane home.

I don’t want to ruin all the surprises, but here are some photos from the trip!

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Ice climbers at Matanuska Glacier

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Up close at Matanuska Glacier

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David Jacobson-Fried ice climbing at Exit Glacier near McCarthy

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Glamour shot

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Moose glamour shot 🙂

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Dip-netting for fish. This is a traditional fishing technique used for various types of fish, including Salmon