That mountain feeling – the Arrigetch Peaks

A backpacker walking in the Aquarius valley, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska.

A backpacker walking in the Aquarius Valley, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. Few of the visitors here ever get this far back up in the valley; it’s a bit of a mission to get way back here. For a larger version of the photo, please click on the photo above.

Hey Folks,

Looking over a few old Image folders on my hard drive I found this photo (among others) that I hadn’t yet processed. This one I took on a hike in Gates of the Arctic National Park. We backpacked up into the subalpine area with 5 people, and did a combination of basecamping/dayhiking and backpacking. It’s rugged, steep country, and can be challenging underfoot.

This dayhike, we started out with myself plus 4 people, and by mid-afternoon were down to just myself and one other; Jodee V, who’ll walk just about anywhere! The rest of the group had stopped along the day, each person reaching their own threshold of how many rocks they wanted to walk over.

What struck me about this photo is how, for me, it perfectly evokes the exact feeling that walking in the mountains gives me. It’s infinitely vast and expansive, yet also confined and defined. It’s a feeling of being both everything and nothing, all at once. It’s an amazingly “alive” feeling.

Oh, and just to back up my comment about how few people get up in to to this area; if you know ANYONE who’s hiked in the Arrigetch Peaks area, forward them this blog and ask if they’ve hiked up in the area of this photo. I got a dollar (and an 8″x10″ print of this picture) that says they reply with a “no”. 🙂 And if they have hiked up in here, I’ll double the wager with a post of a photo taken after we hiked further from here. 🙂



4 thoughts on “That mountain feeling – the Arrigetch Peaks

  1. Yoav

    I’ve been just past the second lake, but I’d guess that this is further. It’s been nearly a decade and my memory is a bit fuzzy.

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