Travel

February 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Surviving winter, with more fun than sunlight

Alone on a ridge in the Chugach Mountains of southern Alaska, I struggled to see. The wind was blowing upslope from the south, pelting my face with snow. Around me, all was white – or purple, as after a few hours of trying to rise in the sky, the sun had given up, leaving me alone in the dark. There was no shelter from the cutting wind as trees didn’t even try to grow at this extreme elevation. I had already had an exhausting day of climbing and descending the ridges, and I wasn’t sure how much more I could handle. Far below, the sea ice boulders strewn across the low tide line of the Turnagain Arm pointed the way back toward Anchorage, and civilization. But right about then, I didn’t know what I was going to do.

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