ALASKA – Midnight sun vol-biv adventure
Our friends Dave Turner and Gavin McClurg are stepping out on an epic adventure in Alaska, USA. Dave gave us a quick synopsis and update:
We are getting ready to set off on an adventure of a lifetime in the next few days. Gavin and I are attempting the first ever vol biv paragliding traverse of the Alaska Range, crossing the state from west to east through some of the most rugged, remote, wild, and grizzly bear infested mountains in the world. Some people tell us that our plan is impossible. Some say it’s too bold. Others say we are crazy. Yeah, maybe some of this isn’t too far from the truth, but an adventurer must choose their path in life, and our path is going to take us on a 800km journey over North America’s highest peak- Denali.
I’d be lying if I said that we were confident that this will go down the way we have it planned, as anything can happen in the Alaska wilderness. This place is so big, it makes me feel small and vulnerable. Every time I have crossed the Alps or the Sierra, I knew that it was not only possible, but probable. On this one, nothing is guaranteed.
Our plan is to begin at the border of the Lake Clark National Park at the start of the Alaska Range, and hike and fly all the way to where the Alaska Range ends and the Wrangell Mountains begin. We will be putting in four food caches along the way before we start, and will have to make it to each one before we run out of supplies. We have come to the conclusion that for such a remote range without virtually a single place to get even a candy bar, having a few food caches along the way would be the only way to make it through without starving. We hope.
As of now, our start date is looking to be this Thursday, the 12th of May. Gavin and I will set off from the SW corner of the range, and head for the Kichatna Spires. Once past the Spires, we will pass Mt Foraker (19K feet) on our way to Denali (20,320 feet elevation). We will be attempting to make the entire flight across Denali National Park in one go, which would be an astounding 200km (120 miles) over glaciers, alpine peaks, raging rivers, and terrain that you can’t land on. Oh yeah, did I mention that it was over the National Park!?
In the backpack will be Ozone’s newest high performance wing- the LM6 paired with an Ozium harness. Also in the pack will be camping gear, a fly fishing pole, a large caliber hand gun, and all the gadgets and gizmos for such an adventure. I guess if we run out of food, I’ll have to whip up some fish and game so we don’t starve! It’s going to be almost impossible to cover ground on foot, we will have to make big flights or running out of food is guaranteed.
Between the grizzly bears, wolves, killer moose, and other crazy critters, we are going to have to keep a sharp eye out for natural ‘hazards’. But I’m not so worried about the animals, rather the river crossings, glaciated terrain, and absolute lack of landing options.
If you’d like to follow along on our adventure, we will have our DeLorme satellite trackers on and running the entire time. We are both bringing mini solar panels to keep them and the rest of our instruments charged during the trip, so it should be up and running the entire time. Here is my personal tracking page- https://share.delorme.com/DaveTurner2
And our shared page (this site only holds our tracks for a week before the last day drops off)- http://xcfind.paraglide.us/map.html?id=96
Good weather is approaching- GAME ON!!!!!!
We are excited to follow along as Dave and Gavin fly into uncharted adventure paragliding territory. Cheers from all the team!