It had never been done before: the Ultimate Alaska Trip

When asked by National Geographic Magazine to feature the inspiring story of Andrew Skurka, Marco and I jumped at the chance; we were both immediately intrigued by Andrew’s story as I’m sure all our readers will be. It possesses all the ingredients of true adventure from the location in the harsh Alaskan wilderness to the huge challenge of trying to accomplish something that had never been attempted before. His story highlights what can be achieved when mind over matter is put into practice.

Check out a snippet of the article below and a few photographs which capture the beautiful landscape and the testing times Andrew endured during this truly magnificent trek.

Andrew Skurka was demoralized, and it was a new feeling. Since 2002, logging more than 25,000 miles on foot, the 29-year-old adventurer had become one of the best traveled and fastest hikers on the planet. But now, sitting in front of the post office in the tiny hamlet of Slana, Alaska, ripping open his resupply packages—filled with everything from the hiking sticks that he would swap for ski poles to precision-portioned bags of dried pasta, potato chips crushed to save space, and carefully weighed M&M’s, along with maps marked with intelligence and instructions gathered and collated months earlier—he struggled to recapture his enthusiasm. It was May, and he was less than a third of the way into his 4,679-mile circumnavigation of Alaska by foot, raft, and ski.”

Alaska - National Geographic

Denali National Park, April 27, 2010 – “Skiing over this unnamed pass made me nervous,” says extreme trekker Andrew Skurka. “I was worrying about an avalanche due to the warm and sunny spring weather.” With 1,120 miles behind him, he still had 3,559 to go.

Alaska - National Geographic

Dillinger River, April 17, 2010 “Sleep deprived, mentally spent, beat up by a blizzard, and about to start an arduous detour, I couldn’t keep my game face,” Skurka says of unexpected tears.”

Alaska - National Geographic

Dillinger River, April 17, 2010 “Despite my best efforts, my leather ski boots got soaked by the melting snow,” says Skurka, who tried to leap across some creeks and  night everything froze solid. In the morning I had to force myself to slip my feet into the icy boots.

All photos featured in this article are in the March 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine along with the complete article, on newsstands February 22nd.

1 thought on “It had never been done before: the Ultimate Alaska Trip”

  1. Wow! You guys were really offered an awesome opportunity to explore this fantastic state! I discovered Alaska by way of an Inside Passage cruise along the coastline. I was able to view some truly extraordinary sights from the deck of the ship, including some staggeringly large glaciers. I also had the chance to visit some of the coastal towns along the way, Alaska really is a fascinating state!

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