Hitchhiking to the trailhead, after leaving our car at Eagle Creek Campground
Sulfurous, but drinkable water came from a stream emptying this hot spring.
The Snake River, quite cold to cross in below-freezing weather the next morning
Still some snow on the mountains in the south of YNP
Quiet and cool on the continental divide
Imagine this landscape in a thunderstorm, with falling trees echoing across the valley.
The view up to the high point for our route, on the edge of YNP
We camped next to this snow, after a 20-mile day. Looking down into Shoshone NF
A long first day, with this reward
We tried to avoid trails. Lots of bushes at this altitude
Looking back down one of many divides. Imagine the cliffs at sunset.
The grizzly was walking across the continental divide. About to scale the peak ahead
The layout of the northern half of the route from Europe Peak
A rock and some calculus will tell you how high you are.
Where is the best route? Look where the talus meets the cliff.
Could be any of a large number of rock fields! Not untrodden, though
Iceberg lakes, if I remember correctly. It was cold enough to camp on the snow.
. . . and then to walk across this snow, though we detoured around the steep part
Color and light and vastness; nature overpowers the senses. I could stare forever.
Squeeze around the left side, then climb two thousand feet.
And then slide down the other side. A safe and quick descent
(ice axe in hand, enroute)
This is why I am there. To feel all of this around me. (And to see the solar eclipse with just the two of us, on an 11000' divide)
I left behind the last people I would see for over two weeks and headed cross-country . . .
I tried to choose high, dry, grizzly-free campsites. Mostly worked
The true size and pace of nature: Big. Slow. Unbelievable.
. . . and filled with lichen of every color imaginable
It usually takes me about 100 hours alone to really feel at home.
Lots of orienteering and bearing-shooting on this trip (no bear-shooting)
16 days of life fits in that pack: 72000 calories, all vegan!
The Wrangells have even more dramatic topography. Lots of nice front-door views
Greyling in the streams; grizzlies on the banks; elk here and there
I found the descent I was looking for. So did that house-size boulder in the distance
A view from halfway down. I camped in the green field to the left.
The Wrangells and fellow mountain ranges are famous for their color, even in summer
Notice the ducks swimming out of the frame to the right.
Notice the grizzly hiding the bushes ahead with her cubs.
Sunset after grizzly-inspired detour. An unforgettable show
The Nabesna glacier, covered in debris and groaning its way down from the peaks
Behind one such peak is a vast icefield, and some of highest peaks in North America.