Solo across the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Brooks Range, Alaska
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Apr 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm #2194219Drew SmithBPL Member
@drewsmithLocale: Colorado Rockies
A great story, well-told, honest an real. I enjoyed every word.
Might want to consider smiling in the selfies, though. Or is that a Swedish thing?Apr 23, 2015 at 11:52 pm #2194240Peter SBPL Member
A great inspirational read. All the challenges you faced made it feel very real to read. Maybe you forgot your GPS on purpose to make it more interesting? ;-)
I really enjoyed hiking and talking with you last year at the C2C.
Keep on hiking and inspiring.
PeterApr 24, 2015 at 12:44 am #2194243
Maybe it is a Swedish thing ;-)
Actually, my plan was to take a non-commital selfie every day and then conclude it with a smiling one at The Road. Well, that came to nothing since the camera broke. Coming home I also saw that I have to practice my non-commital look, since I look either sad or angry in the selfies :-)
However, the one from one of the rainy days seemed to fit the occassion. Andrew Skurka has a selfie from his days in the rain in the Brooks, where his rain gear also failed (more than mine obviously)and in a comment to the selfie he says that he cannot imagine why he smiled in it…
http://andrewskurka.com/2015/backpacking-clothing-rain-jacket-rain-pants/Apr 24, 2015 at 12:46 am #2194244
Danish nuclear physicist Niels Bohr is reputed to have said: An expert is a person who has made all possible mistakes within a very narrow field.
I am still working on becoming an expert :-)Apr 24, 2015 at 12:48 am #2194245
The coffee is certainly a bonus, but also an excuse. It strikes me how often we need an excuse to slow down and think though. I have friends that are hunters and the gun seems to give them an excuse for sitting in the forest, listening and thinking. They do not really care if they shoot anything.Apr 24, 2015 at 12:54 am #2194246
Wow, I wish I could have been there in 1978 :-)
I discovered Debbie Millers book Midnight Wilderness while waiting in the rain at the Coldfoot airstrip and has since bought it. Same time and Arctic Village features. You in the book?Apr 24, 2015 at 1:13 am #2194247
That is a great story you are telling. I would have to entice some of my sons into doing something similar with me. As a father I can certainly understand the 'preciousness' of it all.
When visiting the rangers in Coldfoot I had the same impression as you describe. Fortunately ANWR is not a national park so I needed no permit. They did not like the fact that I brought no bear canisters or Ursacks.Apr 24, 2015 at 6:46 am #2194271Peter SBPL Member
Mistakenly called you Roger… Edited.Apr 24, 2015 at 5:19 pm #2194455Matthew JensenBPL Member
Both your adventure and your writing are spectacular, thank you!Apr 25, 2015 at 3:57 am #2194527Jeffrey ListBPL Member
@jlistLocale: Pacific Northwest
thanks for an inspirational report of an amazing adventure.
As someone else said, THIS kind of article is what makes the membership fee worthwhile.Apr 26, 2015 at 12:34 am #2194717
For those of you wanting more of a blow by blow account there are six separate chapters in my blog, written last fall, after returning from the Brooks. http://www.fjaderlatt.se/2014/10/brooks-range-vacation-beginning-i.htmlApr 26, 2015 at 5:05 am #2194732Roger BBPL Member
Knowing you as I do, your list is pretty much minimised anyway. However, here are a some thoughts on weight reduction. The Primus stove and back up burner weight could be reduced, by replacing the Primus burner with the, Firemaple Hornet, or the BRS 3000T which will give a saving of 60 to 80 grams depending on choice of burner. My Primus Etalite (same as yours) weighs in at 337 grams, with the handle removed as well the uprights for the burner and I have replaced the lid with a Ruta Locura CF lid #2. Then there is the pack, you could consider the HMG Windrider 4400 or the Southwest 4400 which would save you about 50 grams.
Yes you may laugh, but it seems the only way to save weight is to find gear that does the equivalent and saves a few grams. I wonder if there is a way of saving weight on the spot messenger and an Iridium phone is there something that will do both tasks and weigh less. Delorme perhaps? There is of course a Cuben Fibre Trailstar which will save you a couple of hundred grams.
Looking forward to hearing about your next tour.Apr 28, 2015 at 10:02 am #2195304Michael GillenwaterBPL Member
@mwgillenwaterLocale: Seattle area
Excellent storytelling. Kudos to the author. I particularly loved the parts with fear inducing challenges you faced as you pushed forward. Was very reminiscent of particular times I have had exploring new areas of the backcountry and getting myself in situations I was not sure I would make it out of.Apr 28, 2015 at 7:43 pm #2195438Adam KlagsBPL Member
@klagsLocale: Northeast USA
Great read, thanks! That last photo is absolutely epic! On a side note, I can't stop thinking about the part where you said:
"I had not been this frightened since a bear ripped my tent and stuck his head through the rip, half a lifetime ago in the Yukon."
I need to hear that story please?!Apr 29, 2015 at 10:46 pm #2195728Lawrence CrowleyBPL Member
Thanks for posting your story. I have very much enjoyed the tale and gear advice. Hopefully one day I'll manage something similar.
LawrieApr 30, 2015 at 5:09 am #2195746
I feel pretty happy about your recommendations, Roger Brown. Meaning that there are no big and obvious changes that I have missed :-)
I have never brought a spare burner before, or even considered it, until I found that a friend alway did. Well, what is paranoia and what is common sense is not always so easy to tell. But since I had the Micron burner and it only weighed 100 grams it felt like a reasonable safety measure.For a lightweight backpacker this is probably equal to somebody that tries to loose weight and hides out in the garage stuffing himself with chocolate. I do hope that BPL will not cancel my subscription for coming out the closet like this ;-)
Since I am planning the coming summer I can say that I will save weight by not bringing a replacement Spot Messenger, nor a GoPro camera and the corresponding batteries. According to local expertise only Iridium works in the Brooks Range, but things like that could change quickly.
Having used the Spot Messenger in a trip along the South Nahanni a couple of years ago I can only say that for me the sat phone is the way to go. Several times along the Nahanni the messenger signaled that my twice daily OK messages had been transmitted. Maybe. However, they never showed up back home or with my pal in Calgary, which made some people a bit worried, unnecessarily.
Two way communication is a lot better. Not to mention if you should run into something that necessitates somebody to come for you.Apr 30, 2015 at 5:12 am #2195747
Regarding the Trailstar in Cuben or silnylon, the lack of flexibility/stretch described in Chris Townsends article made me go for the silnylon one:
http://www.christownsendoutdoors.com/2012/03/trailstar-wars.htmlMay 4, 2015 at 1:49 am #2196609Jeff BueBPL Member
@alaska1Locale: The Last Frontier
Congrats! I have spent a significant amount of time up in the Brooks, but have yet to do anything longer than 10 days yet. Those passes can definitely get hairy!! I have a dream to do what you did someday, and I'll be sure to get in touch with you for some insight before I do. Thanks for writing such a thorough trip report. It was a great read and definitely got me excited for summer in the Brooks!May 4, 2015 at 7:15 am #2196632Bill ReynoldsBPL Member
@billreyn1Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
Great story and journey. Really made my Monday morning. I can identify with the human errors as we all have made many times.May 16, 2015 at 6:37 pm #2200052Brad BrananSpectator
@bbranan1Locale: Northern California
Thank you for your very well done story. This is one of the best feature stories I've read on the site, right up there with two other stories, interestingly enough, about crossing the Brooks Range, by a young woman last year and another one by Ryan Jordan. You're an inspiration to older guys like myself who still hope to hike the Brooks Range.
BradMay 25, 2015 at 8:47 am #2202015Mary WadeBPL Member
Thank you for such a terrific description! I am headed there in a few days, and it gave me some ideas for my gear to reduce weight and to make sure I am as safe as possible.May 26, 2015 at 11:27 am #2202282Carol CrookerBPL Member
@cmcrookerLocale: Desert Southwest, USA
Really enjoyed reading about your adventure, Jorgen!May 26, 2015 at 2:55 pm #2202334David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"I wonder if there is a way of saving weight on the spot messenger and an Iridium phone is there something that will do both tasks and weigh less. Delorme perhaps?"
RogerB is on to something here.
Manfred was able to use his DeLorme InReach throughout his Brooks Range trip last year, so the coverage is fine. He and I were using a pair of the Explorer model to co-ordinate a thru-dayhike on the Kenai Peninsula yesterday. It is a little tedious to enter the text messages, but you get confirmation that it (1) uploaded and (2) was delivered to the recipient. And it could have provided a back-up GPS function. Plus digital compass, barometric altimeter, and odometer. 6.7 ounces.
Search Facebook for "Ground Truth Trekking" if you want to see another BPL member using an InReach in obscure parts of Alaska. Four minutes ago, they posted from Cape Espenberg on their way to Kotzebue.
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