Alaska-Yukon Expedition: Andrew is Halfway Done, But Does it Matter?

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Long distance super-hiker Andrew Skurka has reached a major milestone on his Alaska-Yukon Expedition, which he began back in March. Andrew has been posting updates on his journey over at the National Geographic Adventure Blog, and his most recent update indicates that he has now reached the half-way point of the expedition, but he wonders if that really matters, considering the challenges that still await him.

The Alaska-Yukon Expedition is a seven-month long, 4700-mile excursion through some of the most remote and unexplored wilderness in all of North America. The trek began in Kotzebue, Alaska and will eventually end there as well, most likely in October. In between, Skurka is making one giant loop that has already taken him south along snowmobile routes to the Iditrod Trail, which he then followed east through the Alaska Range of mountains, before turning south once again and passing through Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, to the Lost Coast. Hugging the coast, Andrew continued down the Inside Passage, and has now made the turn north to his current location in Haines, Alaska.

With a good chunk of the trail behind him now, Andrew is happy to have reached the halfway mark, but he also wonders if it really matters much beyond just a point on the map. Ahead of him is still plenty of things to overcome, including traveling up the Yukon River, and crossing three mountain ranges, not the least of which will be a traverse of the Brooks Range. He also says that he is preparing for the last major stage of the journey, trekking from Whitehorse in the Canadian Yukon back to Kotzebue, something that he also says he suspects will change his definition of wilderness forever.

This has been amazing adventure to follow so far, and Andrew has done a great job of sharing it with us with his regular blog updates. I can’t wait to hear about his experiences in the Brooks Range, which may be the most untouched and remote wilderness that remains in North America. It should prove to be very interesting.

Kraig Becker