Long distance hiker Andrew Skurka has set off on his Alaska-Yukon Expedition, which I first told you about back in November. The journey will cover 4700 miles on foot, skis, and packraft through some of the most remote backcountry in Alaska and Canada’s Yukon, and is expected to take approximately seven months to complete.
Andrew arrived in Kotzebue, Alaska a few days back, and if everything has gone according to schedule, he should have set off today on a planned 34-mile ski trip to the first cabin he will stay in along this new epic route. Leaving Kotzebue behind, he’ll now travel south to the Iditarod Trail, then follow it across the Alaska Range before proceeding down to the Lost Coast. From there, he’ll proceed down the Inside Passage before turning north up the Yukon River, where he’ll cross over the Ogilvie and Richardson Mountains. Finally, he’ll turn west, running the length of the Brooks Range, which will deliver him back to Kotzebue, where the entire adventure started.
This incredibly long and challenging route will cover some of the most rugged backcountry in North America, if not the world. The Brooks Range in particular remains mostly unexplored and unsettled, and would be enough to make any hiker think twice. But Skurka isn’t just any hiker, having earned his legendary status on trails like the Appalachian and Pacific Crest, not to mention his own Great Western Loop, which stretched for 6875 miles, and earned him the title of 2008 Adventurer of the Year, not to mention his Sea-to-Sea adventure, which ran 7778 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
In the weeks ahead, I’ll be posting on Andrew’s progress and following along with his adventure the best I can. He plans to tweet his progress on his twitter account, and he’s also posting blog updates at the Nat. Geo. Adventure Blog as well. They’ve already posted an overview of the expedition and a look at Andrew’s gear, which should prove interesting considering his lightweight approach to these trips.
Good luck and godspeed to Andrew! Be safe out on the trail!