“How do you describe something as majestic as what we flew through? That’s the thing. I don’t really have the words for it.” Join Alaskan bush pilot*, Lynn Ellis in breathtaking Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the largest protected wilderness in America.
Derek Collins and I skied from Aniak to Dillingham through Wood-Tikchik State Park (Alaska). Our route was 250 miles, and it took us 14 days. The highlight of the trip was ice skating ~50 miles of the route on nordic skates. We were stomped by a storm the entire second week.
Earlier this winter Joe Stock proposed we do a fly-in ski traverse of the Wood-Tikchik mountains in Southwest Alaska. The Wood-Tikchiks are a freshwater fjord system, big mountains to the west, U-shaped glacial valleys (the lakes), and rolling hills (moraine) to the east. I was really excited to do another trip with Joe because I can learn so much from him. After scoping the area in Google Earth, I was really impressed with the 4000-ft relief, granitic and glaciated, at the northern end of the mountains, so I proposed we fly in for steep skiing, then tour out to Dillingham. At the last minute Joe had to bail, and without him there was no funding to fly in.
I met Derek Collins a few years ago when he came to the Brooks Range for the Winter Classic. We didn't travel together, but Thomas Bailly and Roman Dial were really impressed with him. Early in the course Roman borrowed one of Derek's ski poles and accidentally broke it. Derek just shrugged it off. Since hearing that, I've invited him on a number of trips, but living in Jackson Hole with two kids, he hasn't been able to make other trips.
Derek was particularly interested in this route because he spent 6 years growing up in Aleknagik, the village at the southern end of the Wood-Tikchik lakes, and Dillingham. We discovered an almost spooky number of similarities. Derek moved to Aleknagik at age 4, from Salmon, Idaho. I moved to McGrath (up the Kuskokwim River from Aniak) at age 4, from Missoula. He moved into Anchorage for 4th grade, I moved in for 8th. We are both quiet, a little socially awkward, and uncomfortable with the party scene. It gets even weirder... our older brothers, Dirk and Burke, are both pro videographers. Dirk was a co-founded of TGR, now sole owner of One Eyed Bird, and Burke has Things to Look At. It was fun thinking of what project they would put together... Girls Gone Wilderness?
The foundation and namesake of our company "Fly Out" is based in the beauty and freedom of flying wild Alaska. The opportunities for genuine adventure exist in Alaska because of the remoteness, the truly unspoiled wild country that is increasingly rare on this Earth. Ultima Thule Lodge truly represents the spirit of our brand. We would like to join them in presenting the 2nd installment of their web series, Beyond - Key to the Wrangells. The planes at UTL truly are time machines, as you travel back to a world unfathomable by our modern culture. Sit back, push play, and enjoy the ride.
Here is a complilation from video content entered in the 2012 Alaska Adventure film festival held in Anchorage, Alaska. From pack rafting to bush flying to snow machines to surfing, this video shows the spirit of AK adventure. Alaska is Awesome!
Imagine cruising into a breathtaking fiord, snow capped mountains and hanging glaciers on three sides, you've never been here before, and from the looks of things, nobody else has either. The sea lions hauled out on the rocks look at you with bewilderment, obviously surprised to see a human. From the charts it looked like there might be potential for a wave on the East side of the fiord and based on the swell and offshore breeze you are excited to prove your suspicion right.
This kind of experience is status quo for our boat based surf missions. We explore Alaska's endless miles of wild coastline seldom even seeing other boats. Sometimes we discover incredible waves, and sometimes we just have to settle with unbelievable scenery, incredible wildlife, and great food.
After several years in the making we are excited to be able to share this once in a life time experience with you. Boat based surf explorations in the last frontier with Ocean Swell Ventures.
The M/V Milo is a proven North Pacific Veteran and is crewed by over 50 years of Alaskan Maritime experience. Owner Mike McCune and Captain Scott Dickerson also have more than 60 years of surf experience (and one happens to be a talented professional photographer). These unique qualifications make Ocean Swell Ventures the perfect choice for making your experience rewarding and successful. We are living our dream and can't wait for you to join us.
A few things you can expect from a surf trip with Ocean Swell Ventures:
Pioneering new surf locations Mind blowing scenery -- calving glaciers, jagged mountains, untouched wilderness An authentic Alaskan experience Great food -- plenty of fresh fish True adventure