Otina's Adventures

Otina's Adventures

Trip reports and photos from hiking, climbing, skiing
and mountaineering adventures in Colorado, Alaska, NY and beyond.

Alaska Pros and Cons


Great Mountaineering
Wilderness backpacking
National Parks/Federal Lands all over
Juneau - Valdez - Seward - Homer - Denali - Wrangell St Elias - ANWR - Gates of the Arctic - Kenai Fords - Prince William Sound .... the list goes on
Great Photography
Aurora Borealis
hot springs + Aurora
potlucks & bonfires
sense of community and ppl pulling together
salmon - fresh salmon only out of the river 2 hours (or how ever long it took to drive home)
Ididarod & Yukon Quest Races
Ice sculptures
X-country skiing


SAD - once you get it, it will only get worse
-50F, weeks of -40F as the high temp
7 months of winter (my definition of winter = below freezing as a daytime high)
ice fog
accident season
thick ice on the roads for 6 months
spring break-up
outhouses @ -40F
outhouses with a moose in the way
oh yeah, outhouses with mosquitoes
waterless cabins
drunk drivers
domestic violence
meth villages
native villages you're not "welcome in"
wildfires that spread all over the state and keep even healthy people inside for months
driving behind the plethora of motor homes that slow your 8 hr drive into 10hrs
5 roads in the state - and all are rough
lack of access to the mountains
grizzly bear attacks (also wolves and a few others)
very few rock climbing areas near FBKS
boring (downhill) ski opportunities near FBKS - long scary drive to Chugach/Alyeska
One by one, your friends leave to go "outside" (ie leave AK)
"Frontier medicine" - go outside if you need help from carpel tunnel to cancer. A Doc atrophied my arms when I got CT and prescribed already recalled medication and put me in braces 23 hrs a day for months. And that wasn't the only occurrence...
extreme politics - L&R
neighbors with signs "There's nothing here worth dying for"
leaving AK is a HUGE commitment of time and effort
5.5 hour flight to Seattle - 18-24 hrs to the east coast
Being so far away from everyone and everything
inflated prices and lack of food in winter - everything is flown in
crappy weather most of the time
large earthquakes
strange neighbors
everyone you meet says "My name is ----, I've lived in AK for X years". Then you meet those born there...

"The odds are good, but the goods are odd"
"Where the men are men, and so are the women"
"Where the socially inadequate go to die" - made this one up myself
"If you don't bring it with you, you won't have it" - ditto Don't ever expect to date well

Last Update:
Page Last Modified = 2009-10-28 18:50 PDT
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