Walking Among Giants...
The plan is simple. Fly to Sitka, hitch a boat ride to the North end of Baranof Island, Alaska. Trek the entire
length of the island by foot and packraft, crossing icefields with crampons one day and jigging for rockfish in fjords the next.
Weave my way through ancient rainforest valleys, avoiding any of 860 grizzly bears that dot the island. This should take me about 3.5 to 4
weeks, if all goes according to plan. If not, we'll see. The maps you see to the right are standard USGS Alaska Resolution (1:63.3K, 1
inch per 1 mile), and measure about nine feet tall. The plan (in as much detail as can be assumed) is outlined in red. There will be much
zig-zagging between points, maybe a few campsites along the way.
Why Baranof Island? Because it's there.
The wild middle child of
SE Alaska's "ABC
Islands" (Admiralty, Baranof, Chicagof), Baranof Island harbors some of the most rugged coastlines of all of SE Alaska (which says a lot).
Massive old-growth rainforests coat the floors of glacier-carved fjords, harboring intense runs of salmon (and an unusually high
concentration of coastal Brown bears). The valleys are bookended by massive peaks rising a mile straight up from the sea, draped in
icefields and hanging glaciers.
The place begs to be explored. But enough of me talking, take a look for yourself! (Click on the images for detail. Images provided by Don Kluting, Sitka, AK.
To read more about Don, visit the Sitka Mountain Rescue Blog or
view more of his photos at sitkascenesphotography.com.)
During the journey, check out the Tracking Page
to see where I am along the island. Happy Trekking, and I hope to have some tales to share
upon my return!