Friday, June 22, 2012

Solstice in Alaska

Two nights ago, in honor of summer solstice, my summer family and I hiked out on the glacier for some nighttime ice climbing followed by a bbq at camp around the fire....a perfect evening all around. Since I seem to have a propensity to live in places where the sun never really sets, it only makes sense that I am excited and extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to celebrate the solstice this year in Alaska.
Summer solstice family climb

Working on my technique as I climb up the ice wall
Photo courtesy of Rich

Ice climbing New Zealand style with no crampons...crazy Kiwis!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Alaska for the Summer

A few weeks ago, I made a summer-altering decision that has brought me to the wilds of Alaska. Though my original plan had been to stay in Portland for the summer, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to take a break from IT (my 1st in 12 years) and work logistics for my friend's guiding company on the Matanuska Glacier. This beautiful bit of Alaska is now what I consider home and my coworkers my summer family. I live comfortably, albeit sometimes on the chilly side, in a tent large enough I can practice yoga and am adjusting to life with no running water or flushing toilets (only porta potties here).

And though this may seem like a hardship to some, it surprisingly is not. I fall asleep at night to birdsong and wake up with a view of snow covered mountains. I've seen moose and their calves almost daily. I'm working with some amazing, energetic people, and I've spent more time in crampons on the glacier, learning all of its secrets, than I could have hoped. I guess one could say I'm thriving.

So if you want to come get a taste of this, come visit! My friends, Don and Tina, have an awesome operation up here that I'd love to share. Hope to see you!
Exposure Alaska
Mica Guides
My home for the summer

The Matanuska Glacier, a 26 mile river of ice

Lakes hidden amongst the ice

Ice waterfall

A nighttime hike to the top of Lions Head allowed us to get this awesome vantage point of the actual length of the glacier

The nighttime sun and the valley from the top of Lions Head

One of the most supportive and positive groups I've ever worked with, my summer family

Family climb night, a perk of living with a bunch of glacier guides

It felt great to ice climb again!

Getting up close and personal with crevasses while learning from a glaciologist