Crossing the

America's Expedition

 

Buy the book here!

On Ice Expedition.

An 800 mile, unsupported kiteskiing traverse of the North Slope of Alaska, from Wales to the Canadian border.

 

 

 

Summer 2017

 

The circle of life in Denali Park. 

 

The perfect getaway in Kantishna Alaska. 

 

Moose Creek packrafting, Denali Park, Alaska.

 

Glacial pond in Denali Park, Alaska. 

 

The hiking list grows with each flight around Denali.

 

Deep in Denali Park under low cloud cover.

 

Flying over the Alaska Range always offers new climbing discoveries.

 

The rivers in Denali Park are finally open and running high enough for packrafting. Here's one of the scenic stretches on the Nenana. 

My oldest nephew Ryan ready to hit the water.

Early summer ice at Fox Falls in Denali National Park, Alaska.

 

The last train to nowhere in Solomon, Alaska.

 

 

Spring 2017

Winter fades to spring slowly in northern Alaska.  Shishmaref with thawing snow.

 

There's nothing better than spring climbing on Dragonfly falls in Denali National Park.

 

With a steady breeze the kiting on Stampede, north of the Alaska Range, is stunning in springtime. 

The Alaska Range south of Stampede.

The northern lights in Denali Park have been spectacular this week.

 

 

Winter 2017

It's still winter in northern Alaska. Sea ice in Shishmaref. 

 

An epic night of dog mushing on the Yanert River, Denali National Park.

 

Afternooon light in the Chugach mountains.

 

Reflections on the Chugach Range.

 

An entire week of high pressure in Alaska proved to be just what was needed for some fine days in the mountains. 

 

With a great snowfall in southcentral Alaska, it was possibly the last week of great skiing in Turnagain Arm.  Lots of lines to be skied in fresh powder.

 

His son Dallas was not far behind.  Here he is on the Bering Sea just outside of Nome.

 

I was fortunate enough to be in Nome for the finish of the Iditarod sled dog rac.  Mitch Seavey finished in record time. 

 

Some of my images were featured in the January/February issue of

The Last Frontier Magainze. Check it out here

 

The full  moon over the Arctic ocean has been spectacular.

 

I was lucky enough to spend a few days on Little Diomede in the middle of the Bering Strait.  It's quite a place this time of year.  The island in the background is Big Diomede(Russia).

 

 

There's less than a 100 people living on Little Diomede. It's one of the most remote communities I've been to.

 

With little solid sea ice, the only way in or out this time of year is by helicopter.

 

 

A view of the Bering Strait and the south end of Big Diomede.

 

One of my favorite islands to photograph, Fairway Rock.

 

I never tire of this view of the Alaska Range. The flight back to Nome for work was a special one. 

 

Low morning light on Panorama Peak in Denali Park, Alaska.

 

Denali Park by early morning light.

 

Flying back to Anchorage after being away for 120 days was a sight to see. 

 

After 100 days on the road and 20,012 miles, Tracy and I arrived at the end of the road in Tierra del Fuego.  See the full expedition report here.

 

October 2016

The lakes are frozen, but there's still wind on the ocean. 

The final kite session on the Bering Sea before freeze up.

 

One last motorcycle foray into the wilderness before winter. 

 

Flying into Brevig Mission along the Bering Sea coast. 

Winter has finally come to the country.

 

One of the best times of year in the northern Alaska is fall. 

Low angle light lights up Gold Dredge #6, just outside of Nome.

 

It was one of those special days flying north.  The Alaska Range was out in full glory.

 

The paragliding is even pretty good for this late in the season.

Paragliding in Eagle River, Alaska.

 

September 2016

This month has been filled with travels all over northwest Alaska.  First snow on the Kigluaik mountains near Nome.

 

Autumn colors and light engulfed in clouds on the edge of the Kigluaik mountains. 

 

Lakes forever near Shaktoolik.

 

The York Mountain range in nothwest Alaska, near Brevig Mission.

 

There's no place I've ever been that's quite like Little Diomede.

 

Flying into Little Diomede in the middle of the Bering Strait is always a welcome and exciting opportunity.

 

August 2016

The Last Train to Nowhere near Solomon, Alaska.

 

The Solomon Roadhouse was built in 1904 during the height of the Alaska gold rush.  It was open for business until the 1970s and has been quiet every since.

 

There is no place like Nome this time of year. 

 

Looking across Grantely Harbor just after sunrise. 

 

Fish drying in the sun in Teller, Alaska.

 

The main orphanage building at Pilgrim Hot Springs.

 

Another magical night at Pilgrim Hot Springs.

 

The ghost town of Pilgrim Hot Springs on the Seward Peninsual outstide of Nome.  After the flu epidemic in 1918 a large orphanage was built at this site. 

 

As summer quickly fades to fall in Alaska, there's a chill in the North wind.  This night found me exploring the far reaches of Safety Sound.

 

The biggest storm of the summer

slammed the Bering Sea coast bringing waves in epic proportions and wind!

 

Wide open spaces on the Bering Sea. Kitesurfing rarely gets finer than this. 

July 2016

Denali, hiding in the clouds. 

Denali National Park, Alaska.

 

Any day driving in Denali is a good day, even if it's cloudy.

 

An impressive display of light and water along the Bering Sea coast near Unalakleet.

 

During the gold rush of 1897, there were 10,000 people that lived in St. Michael, Alaska.  Today there are less than 400 and still a lot of rust litters the beach from the turn of the century.

 

St. Michael, Alaska.

 

Not only rust, but lots and lots of sea glass are on the beaches in St. Michael.

 

Beatiful beaches are the norm in St. Michael. 

 

June 2016

The clouds over the midwest have me wishing I was on the ground launching my paraglider.  With these clouds I could fly for miles and miles.

 

Summer in Iowa means hot, humid weather and semi-pro baseball in Farley with my Dad.  It doesn't get any better than this.

 

 

Farmers Market with Pete and Bluebell Orchard.

 

Sunset slacklining in the paradise.

 

Cherry picking season is always a great time to be home.

 

There's no place like the midwest for wildflowers!

 

One of my favorite pieces of rock to photograph, Fairway Rock in the middle of the Bering Strait.  If you look close you can see Mother Russia in the background.

 

Work never disappoints.

 

The evening commute in Shaktoolik, Alaska.

 

This gives an entirely new meaning to rowing your boat in Brevig Mission, Alaska.

 

There are basketball hoops in all shapes and sizes all over bush Alaska.

 

It's hunting season and the spotters in Shishmaref are on the lookout for Wales along the Bering Sea coast.

 

Fish camp in Shishmaref.

 

Even though it's June, there is still plenty of sea ice along the Shishmaref coast.

 

May 2016

Single track paradise on the Victor Creek trail near Moose Pass, Alaska.

 

The avalanche chutes are still full of snow in the backcountry of Alaska.  With epic single track on the other side, it's worth the traverse. 

 

The Slaughter Ridge hike in Cooper Landing offers commanding views of Kenai Lake.  Hopefully next time there won't be any wind so I can paraglide back down. 

 

Green is REALLy green on the Kenai Peninsula. 

 

Forget-Me-Nots are everywhere this time of year. 

 

Summer has arrived in Alaska, despite snow still on the mountains.

 

Paragliding off Anvil Mountain in Nome, Alaska.

 

It's still winter in Northern Alaska.  Ice formations on the Bering Sea. 

 

 

Bering sea ice.

 

11:30pm sunset in Shishmaref, Alaska.

 

The rock formations in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve are pretty spectacular.

 

55 miles South of Shishmaref is a really special place, Serpentine Hot Springs.  Not an easy place to get to, but well worth the effort.

 

April 2016

The windsports festival, Parapalooza, turned out to be a huge success in Thompson Pass this year.  The paragliding and snow kiting was off the charts.

 

Flying Thompson Pass, Alaska.

 

Hanging out above the clouds.

 

Even the skiing was great.  Skin up, ski down.

 

Late evening flight.

 

Catching air in Thompson Pass. 

 

Snowkiting in Thompson Pass.

 

Perfect wind made for a perfect day along the Bering Sea Coast.  25 miles of exploring far and wide made for an epic evening.

 

A squall on the sea ice on the Bering Sea.

 

A temperamental day in the Kigluiak mountains near Nome. 

The last time I had to follow a "flagged" route was in Antarctica on the Search and Rescue team, nearly 20 years ago.  This flagged route, Alaska style, got me across a section of frozen sea ice between Teller and Brevig Mission. 

 

It's still winter at the Teller Trading Company in Teller, Alaska.

 

A weekend storm in Nome created some pretty full on

traveling conditions. 

 

March 2016

Paramotoring with the Alaska Range as a back drop always inspires me to fly as often as possible.

 

Denali from the Parks highway.

 

The aurora borealis lighting up the sky behind Dredge #6 outside Nome, Alaska.

 

Jeff King mushing the final few miles into Nome on the Iditaord trail.

 

Jeff King on the Bering Sea coast on the final push into Nome. 

 

My good friend Jeff King finishing Iditarod 2016 on Front Street in Nome. 

 

I count myself lucky when work sends me to the village of

Little Diomede.  It's like no place I've ever been. 

 

The first polar bear paw that I've ever seen up close.

 

The locals caught their first polar bear of the season.

 

Big Diomede island, up close, from the middle of the

Bering Strait.

 

The morning commute to Little Diomede in the middle of the Bering Strait.  Big Diomede/Russia shrouded in clouds in the background. 

 

30 miles kite skiing on the Iditarod trail was chilly but great to get out on the trail before the Last Great Race.

 

February 2016

It was in 2005 that Dixie and I attempted to walk across the Bering Strait.  11 years later, a couple guys from the UK are headed North to give it a go.  Follow their progress here.

James Bingham and Neil Laughton the night before embarking on the deadliest journey.

 

With extremely warm temperatures in South Central Alaska this time of year, the ice skating explortations have been off the charts.  Particularly up the Knik River valley. 

 

The Redwoods in California are nothing short of mind boggling.

 

 

 

Around Nome, remnants from an eariler gold rush boom still litter the landscape. 

 

In the Alaska bush, home is where the cabin is.

 

Wind and snow and the setting sun.

 

The sea ice near Shishmaref is spectacular this time of year.

 

Kiteskiing in Nome during a whiteout.

 

The ice conditions on the Bering Sea are perfect this time of year for some great motorcycle riding.

Studded tires are a necessity this time of year.

 

Nellie Lawing was an Alaskan pioneer woman at the turn of the Century.  She'd be thrilled to know her cabin still stands on the shores of Kenai Lake.

 

One of the most amazing places in Alaska.  Lawing and Kenai Lake.

 

The locals of Moose Pass give new meaning to "pond hockey" on Trail Lake.

 

The ice on Tern Lake is perfect for skating this winter

 

Late afternoon light on the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

 

January 2016

A great day of ridge soaring in Alaska.

 

The Kigluaik mountains in northern Alaska are stunning!

 

Mushing in Willow, Alaska.

 

Without much snow in certain parts of Alaska this year.  Some dog mushers are having to drive to mush.  The commute is still pretty scenic. 

 

The transition from sea to land is quite dramatic this time of

year near Unalakleet, Alaska.

The drama continues......

 

Denali and the Alaska Range never cease to amaze me.  I will never tire of these mountains. 

 

One wild ridge in the Alaska Range. 

 

Icebergs south of Elim, Alaska.

 

It's been warm on the NW coast of Alaska and there is still a lot of open water on the Bering Sea. 

 

The Bering Sea Coast is stunning this time of year.

 

Early afternoon light in Elim, Alaska.

 

17 miles in the Grand Canyon on New Years Eve doesn't get any better than this.  Having never seen the Grand Canyon before, I was in awe. 

Bright Angel bathed in afternoon light.

The South Kaibab trail.

Snow and freezing temperatures feel much different in Arizona than in Alaska this time of year.

 

December 2015

This time of year in Arctic Alaska, the sun only gets this high.

A chilly morning on Grantley Harbor, near Brevig Mission produced some amazing sun dogs.

 

The wind along the Bering Sea coast has been intense. 

 

Short days, long runs, and spectacular mountains. 

Foraker, Hunter, and Denali in mid day light.

 

Cold and there is not much light this time of year, but Denali is still stunning to see, even just driving down the highway.

 

November 2015

Just fly, fly, fly!!

 

The mountains near Brevig Mission are very

reminiscent of the Royal Society Range in Antarctica. 

 

The Alaska Range by early morning light never disappoints.

The shadows from the peaks are intense.

Alaska Range, morning light, November.

 

Golovin cabin with fog coming off Golovin Bay on a frigid November morning.

 

Golovin by early morning light.

 

Paragliding Alaska.

 

A chilly day flying the friendly skies.

 

A stunning sunset over Sledge Island in the Bering Sea.

 

A colorful sky along the Teller Highway outside Nome.

 

Fall in Montana.

 

Pointed South!

 

Pine needles, bark, and snow provide a nice contrast.

 

November in Montana is full of pastel paintings.

 

October 2015

Even though the temperatures on the Bering Sea coast are right at freezing, there's still open water and wind!

Motorcycling along the beach along the Bering Sea is a cold proposition this time of year, but endless fun.

A view of the endless fun.

Sunset and the Nome River.

With abundant bird life in Northwest Alaska, most are heading South this time of year.

Fall has come to Northern Alaska.

Sunset along the Bering Sea.

Fall along the Iditarod Trail.  These markers guide in the dog mushers traveling across Alaska headed for Nome.

A crescent moon hanging over the Bering Sea.

Fall has arrived.

The sunrises over Bluebell Orchard in Iowa are nothing short of  stunning. 

Apples, apples, apples.

The apple picking machine.  These guys pick all day, everyday, all fall long.  Sam, Pete(Dad), and Smile.

Fall in Iowa presents some hidden treasures.

Motorcycling along the Cripple River is like exploring in the old West, Alaska style. 

 

September 2015

My job once again allowed me to spend a week on Little Diomede in the middle of the Bering Strait. This Village is home to around 65 people and sits right on the International Date Line, only a few miles away from Big Diomede/Russia.  It's like no place I've ever been.

Little Diomede village in the foreground.  Big Diomede three miles across the Strait, and Mother Russia on the horizon.

Panoramic standing on the deck at the school.  Whale bone in the foreground and Russia in the background.

Puffin taking flight on the north shore.


Little Diomede is entirely steep and rocky.

One of my favorit things to photograph, Fairyway Rock, just South of Little Diomede.

The North American continent as seen from the top of Little Diomede.

Fairway Rock and King Island in the distance. Dixie and I ended up South of King Island in 2005 when we tried to walk across the Bering Strait.

Big Diomede, as seen from Little Diomede.

The village of Little Diomede.

The highest peak in North America, Denali.

Roaming free in Denail Park, Alaska.

This peak, shrouded in ominous weather has been haunting me for years.

Spending time in a remote cabin in the middle Denali Park is always magical.

Full moon over Safety Sound.

 

August 2015

With storms slamming the Bering Sea coast, the waves and kiting have been pretty out of control!

Explorations on the TW200 out the Council highway always yield something interesting.

I stumbled upon an abandoned mine called the Big Hoorah.  Fascinating old buildings and a lot of rusted metal scattered about.

And one curious fox who seemed to have the run of the place.

At sunset, on the ride home, I came across the graveyeard in Solomon.  I had never noticed it before. During the gold rush it was a thriving community but now it's a ghost town. 

Fall is starting to present itself in the Northern Latitudes with colors changing in the Tundra. 

Heading out fishing on the Bearing Sea.

Motorcycle explorations found me at Dorothy Falls, outside of Nome.

An old miner shack is testament to what once was.

A room with a million dollar view.

My two weeks off were spent in Denali Park visitng a friends cabin.  It's quite a place!  On a clear day the view of the Alaska Range is off the charts.

A lone caribou in Denali.

I had the fortunate opportunity to make it to the Kantishna music fesitval.  Some of the finest musicians around and a strong sense of community. 

A typical late summer day in Denali Park.

This time of year the Northern Lights are out.  This particular night I drove out of the Park and was graced with the lights for four hours. 

Denali Park northern lights.

Flying back to Nome for work always provides spectacular scenery.  Denali showing up throught the clouds.

Little Switzerland in the heart of the Alaska Range.

A week long trip to see family in San Diego and Phoenix proved to be warm and fun.  Beach volleyball at sunset just doesn't happen in Alaska, ever. 

We took in a Major League game, which was part game and part amusement park.  The ballpark had so much other stuff going on, it was hard to focus on the game.  This park was complete with hot tub and pool where you could watch the game from.

Poolside view of all the action. 

It's never a bad day up Crown Point on motorcycles.

July 2015

A couple of good weather days found me in Hatcher Pass where the paragliding was spectacular!

A good day at Hatcher Pass

I had the opportunity to explore the area North of Denali National Park via motorbike.  Spinning mud on Stampede Trail.

Contemplating all the wild horses.

Boot hill, Ferry, Alaska on a picture perfect day.

Sunset over Denali National Park.

June 2015

The winds have been good and the kiting on Turnagain Arm perfect.

With clear skies and temperatures in the 80s, Alaska seems like paradise.  And from Eklutna Lake, it looks it.

With sunny skies and strong winds I anchored my kite to old train parts from the turn of the Century and was able to put in 10 miles kitesurfing down the coast.  A really good night out.

The Last Train to Nowhere. Solomon, Alaska.

The start of June found me in Northern Alaska.  Back on the Bering Strait to see the last of the ice for this season. 

Walrus hunters head North to the pack ice.

May 2015

A classic Denali Park sunset over Primrose ridge.

#DenaliNationalPark, #Primroseridge, #Alaska

35 miles in Denali National Park never disappoints.  Looking out from the top of Polychrome Pass. 

Packrafting the Sanctuary River in Denali National Park. 

16 miles of mountaing biking, 9 miles of hiking, and 9 miles down the river.  Not a bad day out!

An after work epic adventure in Nome.  I finally made it up Mt. Osborn, the highest peak in the Kigluaik Range.  In 45 mph winds I managed the summit ridge and made it back home by midnight

The Kigluaik Range has some impressive peaks to say the least.

It's always a treat to be back on the Bering Strait this time of year.  It's still winter in Wales, Alaska.

It's been 10 years since the Bering Strait Odyssey. Dixie Dansercoer and I tried to walk across this precarious piece of ocean, all the way to Russia.

April 2015

Denali National Park is spectacular this time of year.

William Marx, 1878 -1923.  Teller, Alaska

I happened across a herd of Muskox in the mountains.

Even though I missed the Iditarod this year, I was fortunate to spend some time on the Iditarod trail.  A long 15 mile downwinder from Safety Sound back to Nome proved to be sensational kiting.

Kiting along the Bering Sea coast.

Several great days of wind found me in the mountains behind Nome kiting as far and wide as I could.  Up and over Mt. Newton found me logging 27 miles by kite and making it back to town.  A very good night out. 

Arriving back in Alaska I'm always reminded how much I miss the mountains.

March 2015

With six weeks off work I headed to the South Pacific to warm up from a winter in Alaska.  Click here for the Japan story and pictures.  The rest of the trip was spent exploring Guam.

Geisha in Kyoto.

Sunset over Agana Bay never disppoints.

Kitesuring at Cocos Island.

February 2015

The rare winter flight at sunset off Anvil Mountain is always a fun way to end the day. 

Late afternoon hikes in the hills offer up some pretty frosty conditions.

The Muskox are running amuck in the mountains around Nome!

Flying with Mt. Foraker on the horizon always proves to be a spectacular day in the air. 

A surreal and frigid sunrise over the Bering Sea.

January 2015

Despite brittle temperatures in the Chugach Range(-5F with windchill), I couldn't resist the perfect soaring conditions, and spent several hours in the air over the weekend.

Flying out to the LZ with Sleeping Lady in the background and Knik Arm with a slight cloud cover.

Arctic sunsets are pretty compeling in January.

Sunset on the Bering Sea.

During this time of year in Alaska, the low angle light and endless mountains can provide some stunning results.  Denali and Mt. Foraker on the horizon.

Early sunrise over the Alaska Range.

Sunrise coloring the Alaska Range orange.

December 2014

A week of skiing in Utah offered up great powder and bluer skies than I've seen in quite some time. 

Solstice in Nome saw the sun coming up and skirting the horizon for three hours and 53 minutes.  Cold, clear, and beautiful.

With the low light during this time of year the colors in the sky and on the mountains has been phenominal.

Front Street in Nome is looking quite festive this time of year. 

The old St. Joseph's church on Anvil City square in Nome is lite up this time of year.

When Jason calls and says let's go flying(in his airplane), I always say YES!  We spent a fine afternoon exploring around the Knik glacier.

Blue ice on the Knik glacier.

Sunset and glacier ice from the Knik glacier.

Although the weather has been a bit dismal, we still try to get out and paraglide.  Preparing to launch off Baldy with Denali on the horizon.

November 2014

King Island is still out there on the Bering Strait.  Last time I was close was in 2005 on the Bering Strait Odyssey expedition. Oh what a time we had. 

With clear nights, the Aurora Borealis have been decorating the northern skies.

Northern Lights in Golovin.

The sea ice is around in spots on Norton Sound.
The ocean near Elim looks like this.

Golovin sea ice.

Snow still eludes the landscape around Nome.

The traveling around northern Alaska has been amazing at this time of year.  There's been little light and little snow,

but amazing views none the less.

Sunrise over Norton Sound.

Sunset over the mountains near Nome.

Paraglidng this time of year offers an interesting perspective on how Upper and Lower Fire Lake have been freezing. 

The weather has been cold and clear.  On a recent paraglider flight off Roundtop, I flew just below cloud base with Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter, and Denali off on the horizon.

Firelake froze with fall foilage still hanging around.

Firelake air bubbles.

October 2014

Gold dredges and gold filled beachs...........Nome.

Surprisingly there are some serious mountains outside of Nome.

The lakes are already froze up North...and daylight is

getting sparse.

Snow covered mountains outside Nome.

The shores in Shishmaref stretch to the horizon

Shishmaref on the Bering Sea.

Exploring in Golivin along Norton Sound turned up

some real treasures.

Lion's mane jellyfish.

Even more Lion's mane jellyfish.

Even though it's early in the season, the sea ice is already forming on the shores of Golovin. 

Sunset and sea ice.

Lake ice forming in Golovin.

Mt. Foraker and Denali from the air is spectacular.

As fall quickly fades to winter, sunset runs on the Bering Sea, no matter how cold, are always something special.

Roadie work for Box 10 was an unforgettable experience!

September 2014

There is never a dull moment when flying near the Alaska Range.

The kiting on the Bering Sea has been REALLY good!

The explorations and adventure continues in NW Alaska!!

An afternoon in White Mountain, the last checkpoint on the Iditaord Trail.  Friendly people and spectacular this time of year.

The geese are leaving NW Alaska by the thousands.  It's been quite the site to see and hear. 

There's no place quite like Nome!

Dog and horses on display in Nome.

Twice in one day I HAD to capture images of the Swanberg dredge.  It was brought to Nome in 1906, was only in use for one year, and has been parked in this spot ever since.  The new hospital is in the background.

The setting sun reflecting on the Swanberg Dredge.

Fall flying at Hatcher Pass is spectacular!

There's no place on earth like Denali Park in fall.

Denali at sunset from Reflection Pond.

Deep in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Denali reflected in Wonder Lake.


Denali from Stoney Dome.

Fall has arrived at Broad Pass, south of Denali.

The blueberries are ready for eating!

The geese show the first signs of fall, headed South.

A spectacular day flying off Bear Mountain with

Foraker, Hunter, and Denali in the background.

Flying off Bear Mountain.

Even the dogs are mesmerized by the views of the

Alaska Range on a clear day.

Circling in over Fire Lake to the landing zone.

Kiting on the Nome River has been fantastic.  My new friend Tattoo caught some great images with a huge gold dredge in the background.

August 2014

Exploring on the TW200 provides discovering some real treasures.

Screws leftover from a turn of the century gold dredge.

An old gold dredge on the Kougarok Road outside of Nome.

A work trip to Teller is always a treat.

Iditarod musher Joe Garnie and Dale pulling in some nice silver salmon from Joe's fishing net on the beach in Teller.

Randomness on the outskirts of Nome.

Hanging out upside down on the Nome River.

A pit stop at the Safety Roadhouse on the way home from cutting firewood.  I haven't been in this Roadhouse since Iditaord 1994. It's still exactly the same.

Alpenglow outside the Safety Roadhouse.

Setting sun on the Last Train to Nowhere.

Ominous weather approaching Safety Sound.

Another trip cutting firewood found me at the Last Train.  I never tire of this piece of machinery.

On the way home from cutting firewood with Dale.

Dale loaded with wood for the winter.

It takes more than one vehicle to get wood from the beach

back to home base in Nome.

Another session at Beluga Point did not disappoint.

Stand up paddle boarding in front of the Spencer glacier and back down the Placer river was great fun.  The river was near flood stage and looked quite different from whe I did the same trip a few months ago. 

My old friend Joe from grade school was up visiting and we made it into Kantishna on a 206.  My expedition partner Jason is flying for Kantishna Air this summer and took us for a ride.  The return bus trip out through the Denali was equally impressive.

East fork of the Toklat River, Denali Park, Alaska.

Looking north from Denali Park, Alaska.

Joe and I at the end of the road, Denali National Park. 

A small group of kiters have been pioneering a new spot on Turnagain Arm, Beluga Point.  A precarious entry/exit makes it a challening spot to say the least.   But access to huge rollers and big waves is well worth the effort.  Today we nailed it!

Catching air with the Alaska Railroad in the background.

In the waves.

With two Yamaha TW 200s in Nome, and warm, sunny weather, I've been out motorbiking as much as possible.

The Kougarok road seems to never end!

Stunning scenery out the Kougarok

Panoramic on the Kougarok Road.

At midnight there's still plenty of light.

A ride into Pilgrim Hot Springs was well worth

the side trip.

An old trike from when Pilgrim was an orphanage

with 200 kids.

The views on the road into Pilgrim are stunning.

Exploring the Buster Creek drainage with Dale

This 52 mile trail winds through some amaing backcountry.

Dale showing how to navigate the deep mud. 

T-shirt weather and endless trail. 

It can't get much better than this!

July 2014

After two unsuccesful expedtions I finally made it to Little Diomede in the middle of the Bering Strait.  Wow what a place!  I had quite a bit of work to do while there, but there was no shortage of activity on the island.  I did make it to the top for a hike the length of the island.  The International Date Line is in the middle of the Strait and Big Diomede is only 3 miles away.  And I must say Diomede has some of the friendliest people I've met anywhere.

Panoramic looking North.  Big Diomede on the left and Mother Russia in the background.  Alaska on the horion on the right and Fairway rock on the far right.

Fairway Rock...just south of Little Diomede Island.

Arriving Little Diomede by Zodiak. 

The village proper is lower left.

Little Diomede village from above.

Three Russian swimmers ready to swim to Big Diomede.  They did end up making it.  These guys are tough, no westsuits!

Panoramic of Little Diomede from the helicopter pad.

Lucky for me the new job sent me back to Wales.  Despite the typical horrendous weather, I never tire of this place on the Bering Strait.  I've spent a wealth of time here on expeditons and always enjoy seeing old friends.  And there are still places to explore all around Wales.

Whale bones and fish drying near the beach in Wales.

Fishing nets at wait on the beach in Wales

A group of South African swimmers loading skifs to head

across to swim between the Diomede Islands.  They

made it, using wetsuits.

I had opportunity to visit an old White Alice site in Tin City.  It was in use from 1958-1975 and served as a long range radar system.  These towers are about 5 stories high!

There are constant reminders that we are not far from

Russia here.  This sign was on one of the buildings at

the White Alice site.

There's a radar dome still in service above Tin City and Wales. This is the panoramic view from the top.  Wales is below the mountain on the left.  To the left is the Bering Strait and on the horion the Diomede Islands and mainland Russia.

Despite the nice weather, there are plenty of reminders that summer is passing.  Most notably the fireweed and cotton grass are in full bloom.

Cotton Grass and Fireweed.

Really great weather in Nome brought out people for a summer festival along the ocean.  Complete with live music dunk tank and Sumo wrestling.

The gold dredge exploring is never ending with multiple dredges littering the landscape around Nome, some dating back from the turn of the century.

 

The MuskOx have been out in full force around

Nome this summer.

They are staying close to town to keep their young safe from bears, who don't tend to stay away from town.

They certainly can be a road hazard.

I made the Nome Nugget!!

The book is now for sale at Northern Lights Gift Shop

in Denali Park.

My brother and nephews were in Alaska for a week and there was no lack of high adventure activites.

The Matanuska Glacier

The access to great ice for climbing on the Mat Glacier

is unbelievable.

Climbing ice on the Matanuska Glacier.

A wall of perfect ice for climbing, in a T-shirt!

Exploring an ice ridge on the glacier.

We geared up and jumped on the Alaska Railroad for a

trip up to the Spencer glacier and a packraft run back down

the Placer river.

Heading out onto Spencer lake.

Packraft and a Standup board heading down the Placer river.

Several days found us hiking the Kesugi Ridge trail in Denali State Park.  Rainy weather provided for dramatic clouds and views.

And brilliant colors on the trail.

Troy, Jackson, Todd, and Ryan geared up for an overnighter

into the Chugach mountains and Sympony lakes.

Jackson and I on top of Peak 4764, high above our camp.

I was in Nome for July 4th and ran the 12.5 mile Anvil Mountain Race.  It was overcast, foggy, and cool.  I had a great race and placed 10th in 1:37:36.

 

June 2014

Paragliding Hatcher Pass has been unbelievable.

A recent trip found me in the heart of Denali National Park with spectacular views of the Alaska Range.

Near the end of the road in Denali park on my BMW. 

A perfect day for riding!

Denali from Wonder Lake on a rare clear day.

Paragliding in Nome!

Once again in this lifetime, I was able to kitesurf on the Bering Sea.  The last time was when I attempted to kite to Russia from Alaska in 2010.  Like always on the Bering Sea, it did not disappoint.

As it turns out there is a paragliding club in Nome...The Anvil Mountain Flyers.  Very excited to have some really good paraglding so close by.  I never imagined there'd be great flying this far North!

It's been really great to get out to some remote ares in Western Alaska.  The old Solomon Roadhouse is a must see.

Women surveying the Bering Sea ice in Shishmaref.

The Last Train to Nowhere outside of Nome.  This

dates back to the Gold Rush days of the 1880s!!

It sits out on the tundra east of Nome between safety

and Solomon.

I came across this right on Front(Main) street in Nome.  Amundsen(and Wyatt Earp) spent time in Nome and it's not the first time I've cross paths with Roald Amundsen....he was the first to the South Pole, he made it to the North Pole, he was on the first Belgica expedition in 1897-1899(I was on the second in 2007/2008), I saw his monument in Eagle, Alaska, and now in Nome.  The guy got around...and I guess maybe I've been extremely fortunate to visit many of the same places he did.

Amundsen Plaque in Nome, Alaska.  2014.

May 2014

The kiting has been nothing short of epic so far this spring.

There is no place like Nome!!  Spending time in Nome for a new job has been great.  I haven't spent any significant time since the last two Bering Strait expeditions.  Nome is steeped in gold mining history and there is no shortage of interesting things to see.

Ice blocks piled up on shore from moving pack ice, on the

Nome beach.

Artifacts in the tundra outside of Nome.

Rusting metal and interesting shadows.

Giant buckets on an old gold dredge. 

Gears and patterns on old machinery.

Amazing weather in Alaska has produced some equally amazing paraglider flights.  Best flight yet.......Eagle River to Knik - 12 miles

April 2014

A new job in Nome found me once again walking on the Bering Sea.  The last time I did that was in 2005, with Dixie, when we tried to walk to Russia from Alaska.  Read about the

expedition here.

With the lake ice just starting to melt in Alaska, it was the last weekend for biking the length of Eklutna lake.  The 25 mile roundtrip was nothing short of epic!

A cloudy day in Seward made for a spectacular day

exploring Kenai Fjords National Park.

April 6th was the first day we got out on water kiting this year 

It was a bit chilly, but really great wind.

Kiting McHugh along Turnagain Arm, Alaska.

First day on the water, April 16th, 2014.

 

March 2014

There was one last day of snowkiting, at sunset, at the base of

Blacktail Rocks.  It was a beautiful night with a steady wind.  Unfortunately, my friend Matt accidently got launched and landed hard on his ribs.  It took us three hours to get off the mountain and to the hospital......with 8 broken ribs.  Not the ending of a great kite session that we'd hoped for. 

Snowkiting at Blacktail Rocks, Eagle River, Alaska.

Spring is happening in Alaska.  With an unprecedented stretch of clear weather, the paragliding has been heating up.  Several days have been spent soaring(literally) with eagles!!

Soaring high with Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter, and Denali in the background. 

Flying over the Chugach Mountains, Alaska.

South Pacific 2014 Trip report is here

Kiting in Western Australia.

January 2014

Mt. Gordon Lyons

A few of us hiked above the clouds to some sunshine for some speed wing flying!

Jason having a toast on the summit just before launching.

With light winds, the kiting was just okay on Big Lake, but the Paramotoring was really good.

The inevitable GoPro self portrait.

Kite view looking out over Big Lake.

Once again this year one of my images was selected for the USHPA calendar.  My image is December 2014.

A recent weekend in Denali Park with clear skies and -40F temps offered up some epic scenery.

Panorama Peak

December 2013

Very cold weather produced fog down low and snow up high.  There was no lack of interest in getting off the ground after a long hike up Bear Mountain. 

Launching off Bear Mountain with the crew waiting to initiate launch sequence.

Looking for a landing zone in the fog.

The crew, all safely landed on Mirror Lake.

A recent work trip to Beluga on a chilly, clear morning allowed for some great vistas from the airplane seat.

A Turnagain Arm sunrise.

The Tordillo Mountains at sunrise.

Foraker, Hunter, and Denali from Cook Inlet.

Foggy, warm weather in the Anchorage bowl has left the flying community wondering when we'd get in the air again.  On a fine Sunday, we hiked up Flat Top mountain and got above the clouds for an afternoon of flying in sunshine and warm weather.Flying into the setting sun.

Soaring over the Chugach Mountains, Alaska.

November 2013

Winter and cold temperatures are upon us.  Perfect weather for a flight! The summit of Denali just peaking out of the clouds in the upper right corner.

The lastest issue of Signature Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Magazine in Australia has a really great two page spread!!

  Inset text.........

Kiting in Alaska in November! 40F and 50 mph winds made for an interesting day on Turnagain Arm.

October 2013

The new Aerostich poster is a picture of me with the BMW.

Fall always finds me back home in Iowa to help

with the apple harvest.

Dad selling produce, me selling books at Farmer Market.

Apples in Iowa.

Early morning farmers market, Dubuque, Iowa.

After picking comes sorting.

September 2013

As fall melts into winter, we loose daylight in Alaska

and the sunsets have been outstanding.

Setting sun over Turnagain Arm, Alaska.

Turnagain Arm Sunset.

The few sunny days we've had found me

out flying paragliders and speed wings. 

Soaring off Bear Mountain.

Speed flying over Turnagain Arm, Alaska.

Searching for a landing zone over Turnagain Arm.

On a recent trip to Beluga, the signs of fall

were everywhere.

Ice on standing water in early Sept!

Fireweed gone to seed in Beluga.

Tundra colors are changing quickly.

Meandering river near Beluga, Alaska.

The Tordillo Mountains under full moon.

August 2013

There were quite a few weekends spent in Denali National Park this month. It's a place that I will never tire.  Have a look at some of the images and you'll understand why. Spending time in Denali allows one to appreciate the many moods of the Alaska Range.

Sable Pass.

Denali from Wonder Lake.

Detail of the Wickersham Wall, Denali.

Mt. Brooks and Mt. Silverthrone at sunset.

Mama and baby in Denali.

Denali's summit from Rainy Creek.

Mt. Brooks and Silverthrone from Rainy Creek.

The Alaska Range from Rainy Creek.

The Alaska Range at sunset from Wickersham Dome.

Just after sunset from Wickersham Dome.

A great motto for life!!

The Kantishna Music Festival 2013, at Kantishna Air.

Kantishna Music Festival, 2013.

Winter comes early in the high country.

July 2013

The weather in Alaska this summer has been like no other summer I've ever experienced here.  As a result there has been some really great paragliding in Eagle River and Hatcher Pass.

Flying with Denali in the background.  Eagle River, Alaska.

Launch at Hatcher Pass.

Hatcher Pass paragliding.

I raced the Crow Pass race this year.  24 miles of wilderness mounting running complete with extremely cold river crossings and zero support.  I placed 45th with a time of 4:10:52.  Several friend Josh and Matt raced as well.  Here are the before and after shots.  Not too bad, but afterwards, all of us could barely walk!

Before .............Matt, Josh, Troy.

After.......Josh(9th), Matt(100th), Troy(45th).

Crown Point near Moose Pass, on a nice day, has some of the most spectacular views ever and some fine motorcycling.

Tracy high on the Crown Point Trail above Trail Lake.

Troy and Tracy taking a break on the trail.

The Fireweed is in full bloom!!

June 2013

A weekend in Kantishna in the middle of Denali Park with friends proved to offer up some fantastic views of Denali, despite the marginal weather.

The day after summer solstice three friends and I finally pulled off the biggest kitesurfing trip in Alaska to date. 58 miles in 4 and a half hours. Downwind from 20 Mile River to Fire Island.  Here is my google earth GPS track.  Although Turnagain Arm can be somewhat dangerous, we managed the downwinder without incident. 

 

June has arrived in Alaska with a vengeance.  This has been the warmest and sunniest summer in recent memory.  Several days of 90 degree weather, coupled with the long daylight hours, it has been fabulous.  Like every Alaskan, I have been playing hard and not getting much sleep.  The paragliding, kiteboarding and biking have been unbelievable.

Paragliding in Eagle River, with Denali on the horizon.

Exploratory flights just South of Denali Park provided for some amazing flights!

Flying towards Broad Pass.

With good winds on Turnagain Arm, a friend and I pulled off the longest downwinder kitesurfing to date.  Just past Girwood all the way to slime beach.  Nearly 30 miles!  It was an epic ride!

With a friend working in Bristol Bay for the summer, I decided to spend a long weekend visiting, as I had never been there before.  It turned out to be a really interesting part of Alaska.

Full moon over the Naknek Yacht club.

 Believe it or not, gas in Bristol Bay, Alaska is $6.12 a gallon!

Sunset over Bristol Bay, Alaska

May 2013

With 6 "of new snow on May 18th, no one in Alaska knew what to think. With the sun shinning for the next three days it only meant it was time to hike and fly!

New snow, shorts, and hiking up the switchbacks.

 

Still winter in the Chugach Range, Alaska.

High over the Chugach.

April 2013

The first day of kiting on the water this year!  April 21st.  With snow still piled up, the wind at 30 mph, and 38F.....six of us had a great early morning session.

With a high pressure system hanging out over Alaska this week the paragliding has been mostly good and sometimes wild.  I've logged over six hours of airtime in the past week. 

My best flight, 2 hours and 20 miles, all on the new

Ozone Delta 2.

                                                      Photo copyright Jim Weatherby

                                                  Photo copyright Jim Weatherby

The First Annual Fat Tire Festival in Denali Park entailed

some fantastic weather and perfect riding conditions.

And the snowkiting on the Nenana River wasn't so bad either.

There was just enought time to fit in a spring ski trip to Utah.  There is nothing quite like spring skiing in the Southwest!

Rumen from the Belgica Expedition got married in Bulgaria and I was there.  With early morning runs along the Black Sea and a wedding steeped in tradition, it was a trip of a lifetime.

An ancient church overlooking the Black Sea.

A soak in natural hot springs in Varna, right on the Black Sea.

March 2013

Iditarod is always the first weekend in March.  Once again this year I was at the start helping my friend Jeff King. 

Zig getting ready for 1000 miles of running with legendary mushers Jeff King and Joe Runyan talking strategy in the background.

Ominous weather at the starting line of the Iditarod.

February 2013

Warmer tempertatures and longer daylight have allowed for some great hikes into the Chugach.

With Southeast winds blowing through the Chugach Range, it allowed for a perfect day of kiting just below Blacktail Rocks.

Ocean Rodeo has picked some of my images to post on their Facebook page and banner.  One of these may be destined for a broader market.  Stay tuned.

Click here to see the entire OR Alaska collection of my images.

Windy, warm, and snowy in Alaska.  Turnagain Pass has pretty ideal conditions for kiting at the moment.

Kiting in flat light Turnagain Pass.

Turnagain Pass, Alaska. 

January 2013

A very successful book and speaking tour!

Here was my booth at one signing.  My publisher went all out on the display.

Pretty wild to be on stage presenting while I'm also on the giant screen.

Iowa speaking and book tour schedule:

Welcome on board new Sponsor Onepolar!

2012

Escaping an Alaska winter is always nice in December.

Phoenix and Mexico are great this time of year. Not too hot,

not too cold!

Sunset in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.            Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Palms in Phoenix, Arizona.                    Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

My book, Life on the Edge, is now available!

You can buy it here, and on Amazon!

A great post from Laurent who took the epic image on the cover of the book. 

And Kokatat's blog post.

 

December 2012

More clear and cold weather found me out on Big Lake searching for wind.  None to be found, instead some friends were out towing paragliders to 1200 feet.  And the lake ice is surprisingly thick and is displaying some amazing cracks.

Towing up at Big Lake.                Photo copyright Troy Henkels

Big Lake ice cracks.                    Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

November 2012

Epic good(but cold) weather in Alaska has allowed some great hike and fly opportunities.  Pepper Peak and Harp Mountain over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

With a brisk wind blowing off Flattop, it was to windy to launch.  But, several hundred feet lower on Half Peak,

it was perfect. 

Ridge soaring with Denali on the horizon

in the background.                             Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Winter flying in Alaska and my new Oakley Bandito!! 

It's a lifesaver.                       Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Ridge soaring in front of the Chugach Range.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

September 2012

The end of the month found snow on the ground in Alaska.

The sun came out, so a long hike up Mt. Eklutna found a

group of pilots getting in the air in some pretty cold

temperatures.  Good fun none the less.

A small gaggle getting ready at the lower launch.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Flying high over Knik Arm.     Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Soaring in front of Mt. Eklutna with Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter,

and Denali in the background.      Photocopyright Troy Henkels.

Fall is in full swing and winter is not far off.  Fall storms

have been full strength with several great days kiting on

Turnagain Arm.  Too wet for pictures though.

Broad Pass, Alaska.                Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Broad Pass, Alaska.               Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

August 2012

This rainy month went by in a blur with me gone every weekend, either deep in Denali Park, the mountains in Wrangell-St. Elias, or high in the the Chugach Range.

Denali Park

Denali peeking through bad weather.   Copyright Troy Henkels.

Denali Park, Alaska.                  Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Chugach

The view from the top of Crown Point.     Copyright Troy Henkels.

Standing on top of Crown Point, a peak that had been on

the list for quite some time, but I'd never been up. 

A nice ride to the start of the climb up Crown Point. 

Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Kennecott/Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Kennecott mill site, deep in the Wrangells. 

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, August 2012.

Jumbo mine, high in the Wrangells .  Copyright Troy Henkels.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

July 2012

Alaska has been rainy and cold this summer.  As a result there have been only a few good days of paragliding.  Hatcher Pass last weekend was one of them.  Epic day in many ways.

Rick Young soaring over Hatcher Pass.Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Soaring over Hatcher Pass.  Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

July 4th some friends and I decide to ride bikes to Fire Island.  An island across a three mile stretch of ocean that drains to mud flats when the tide is low.  Needless to say it was a pretty interesting experience.  We were able to ride almost the entire way except for a few key muddy sections.  The trip back proved grueling as we battled a 40mph headwind.

Scouting out the route at Kincaid Park.  Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Testing the mud near the Fire Island shoreline.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Crossing a channel on the mudflats. 

Dave Calkins knee deep in it.           Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

June 2012

Summer in Alaska has arrived and it has been fabulous.  Although there have been some good days paragliding and kiteboarding the real highlight has been a road trip into Denali National Park.  Great weather and close bear encounters made for a memorable weekend.

                                                                                            Photocopyright Troy Henkels 2012.

The most brilliant, and double rainbow I think I've ever seen.

Broad Pass, Alaska. (I need a wider lens!)

                                                                                          Photo copyright Troy Henkels 2012.

Grizzly Bear, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Denali (20,320') seen from above the McKinley River bar.

Denali National Park, Alaska.      Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Remote access rope training course.  A good refresher for

the skills I learned on the Antarctic Search and Rescue Team.

 

May 2012

The paragliding has been unprecedented this month in Alaska.  Numerous sunny days have offered up prime conditions.  Like never befor, pilots have been going cross country in all directions.  For three days in a row I logged 12 miles,

15 miles(3 hours in the air!!) and 12 miles respectively. 

Really great flying.

Flying over the Chugach Range, Alaska. 

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Looking deep into Eagle River Vally, Alaska. 

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

April 2012

Kiteboarding season has begun in earnest with some really great days at McHugh Creek on Turnagain Arm.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels.  2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels.  2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels.  2012.

 

Paragliding season is underway!

Paragliding Mt. Baldy, Eagle River, Alaska. 2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

High over Knik Arm, Alask.        Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

A great view of "Sleeping Lady/Mt. Susitna.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Rick Young checking out the Chugach Range, Alaska.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

March 2012

The last day of the month, myself and two buddies made an unprecedented appearance kiting on Turnagain Arm.  This is the earliest in the season anyone has been out on the water in Alaska.  With favorable winds, tide, and a nice channel we were able to pull it off in 38F temperatures. 

Late winter, early spring kiting at Roadside Attraction,

Turnagain Arm, Alaska.                      Photo copyright Tom Schmid, 2012.

Turnagain Arm, Alaska. March 31st, 2012.

Photo copyright Dave Calkins, 2012.

Early sunset on the Arm.               Photo copyright Dave Calkins, 2012.

Back in Alaska for my favorite time of year.  It's not so cold anymore and the longer days are a bonus.  The unbelieveable snowpack this year has made for some epic days of kiting.

Kiting near the big stuff, Portage Glacier.Photo copyright Troy Henkels 2012.

Catching air at Twenty Mile.  Photo copyright Tom Schmid. 2012.

Just hanging around at Twenty Mile. Photo copyright Marc Whizdorf. 2012.

Cruising the flats at Twenty Mile.      Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.


There have been several nights with spectacular Aurora Borealis. These were taken one morning at 4am.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

February 2012

Several light wind days have provided some of the most  pleasant and epic kiting I've had in Australia. 

Catching air at Point Cook at sunset.       Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Keeping it in the air at Point Cook, Victoria. 

Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Torquay                                                     Photos copyright Troy Henkels

The kiting in Torquay is the best I've had with the most

unbelievable waves to date. An old sponsor and friend from

Stonker, Alex, was kind enough to show me around.

A bit south of Torquay I spent a day kiting at Guvvo's beach. Endless waves and spectacular kiting.

Yarram

The weekend was spent in a small country town called Yarram.  Ten minutes away is the famed 90 mile beach.  It's incredible!!!  Sandy beautiful beach for as far as you can see!  I was itching

to kitesurf here, but as luck has it, no wind.  And for the

record, the beach is actually 93 miles long.

Driving around the backroads of Yarram we came across some country Cricket.  A bunch of guys playing Cricket out in the middle of nowhere.  Looked pretty fun for a Saturday afternoon.

And in town, outdoor bowls.  Considered an old persons sport, I've been wanting to give this a try since 1996 when I first came across it in New Zealand.  It's sorta like shuffle board, but with balls.  I still have yet to give it a go. 

The entire reason for the weekend in the country was my brother

Terry had a basketball tournament.  I got recruited to play and

we had 5 games in two days.  We lost in the championship by 1 point.  Great games and good fun.

The local kiting has been unreal.  The locals have been saying

it's the windiest summer they can remember.  Kiting daily is something I never experience in Alaska. 

                                                                                                 Photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

January 2012

Time spent Down Under has been nothing short of amazing.

Hanging out upside down, down under.   Photo copyright Terry Henkels

Hanging with the locals at Point Cook.photo copyright Troy Henkels. 2012.

Kitesurfing the Homestead with Melbourne in the background.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Courtside, the Australian Open,          Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Skiing for a week in the Wasatch Mountains was a great way to ring in the New Year....and it wouldn't be complete without one night in Vegas.

Sunrise over the Wasatch.                        Photo copyright Troy Henkels 2012.

Full moon rising over the Lexor in Las Vegas. 

Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

Las Vegas.                                          Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2012.

December 2011

Solstice in Alaska.  Dark, snowy, and cold.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

November 2011

One special Sunday found the perfect wind for ridge soaring Kincaid Bluffs.  An absolute epic day of flying.

Paragliding Kincaid Bluffs.                           November 2011. 

photo copyright Troy Henkels

Ridge soaring the Bluffs.                         Photocopyright Troy Henkels. 2011.

 

Winter has slammed into Alaska with full force.  Strong winds, snow, chilly temps, and storm after storm have been the norm.  None the less, there have been a few breaks in the weather to test the ice on the lake for skating(it's not ready yet, trust me, I know) and some cold, but epic paragliding in the Chugach Range.

Paragliding in the Chugach Range, Alaska.Photo copyright Troy Henkels

Paragliding in the Chugach.                  Photo copyright Troy Henkels, 2011.

October 2011

Nice October weather and no snow on the ground.  With a few last sunny days before winter, the little bit of heat left from the sun has provided some great paragliding conditions.

Launching off Bear Mountain, Alaska.       Photo copyright Matt Bonney.

Rick Young flying off Bear Mountain.   Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

 

September 2011

Kiteboarding Turnagain Arm

There has been no shortage of wind in Alaska this month. The kiting sessions on Turnagain Arm have been nothing short of spectacular!!

Photo copyright Steve Conger.

Photo copyright Steve Conger.

Northern Lights - Denali Park

Another weekend in Denali Park, at 2am, and the northern lights were on fire!

Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Spencer Glacier/Placer River

One perfect weekend before the train stops running for the winter found me boarding for a whistlestop at Spencer Glacier.  After a mile hike, the inflatable Stand Up(SUP) came out and the fun began.  Spencer lake allows easy, and perfect, access to paddle right up to the glacier.  A spectacular place.  Afterwards, several hours paddling down the Placer River.  A day in Alaska doesn't get much better than this!

SUP near the Spencer Glacier.   Photo copyright Troy Henkels collection.

SUP on the Placer River.         Photo copyright Troy Henkels collection.

 

Jack

Hello to my friend Jack Clemens in Peosta, Iowa.

He asked me to say HI to Mrs. Mulerts second grade class

at Seton Elementary.  Check out my photos/gallery page for some pictures of my time spent in Antarctica.

August 2011

Alot of rain this month made for some great pack rafting.  Peters Creek out to the ocean is always a treat, but Glacier Creek in Girdwood was running wild after a day and night of an absolute downpour.

Packrafting Glacier Creek.     Photo copyright Troy Henkels Collection.

Packrafting Glacier Creek.      Photo copyright Troy Henkels collection.

 

With fall rapidly approaching in Alaska we have been

treated to some amazing storms and fantastic sunsets.

Sunset over Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter, and Denali, 2011.

photos copyright Troy Henkels

 

July 2011

The big news this month is that a team of two Russians successfully crossed the Bering Strait kitesurfing.  I was following the two expeditions to the Strait this season very closely.  Geza was back for a month with a new team making several unsuccessful attempts to get across.  The great news is, my friend from last year Gene, aka:the Honey Bucket man, is doing well and has new glasses!

Geza Scholtz, Gene Angnaboogok, and Bjorn Detre in

Wales, Alaska. 2011.                       photo copyright Bjorn Detre

Gene Angnaboogok, 2010.   phtoto copyright Troy Henkels

 

June 2011

With epic storm fronts out of the east this summer the kiting has been really, really good.  I finally pulled off a complete crossing of Turnagain Arm.  Although somewhat risky, everything lined up to make it happen. Even though short on distance, 10 miles round trip, the crossing did offer up plenty of excitement. 

                                             Photo copyright Troy Henkels collection, 2011.

May 2011

Stormy weather provided some great wind early in the month and the kiteboarding on Turnagain Arm has been nothing short of epic!

Photo copyright Troy Henkels collection.,

Photo copyright Troy Henkels collection.

Photo copyright Troy Henkels collection,

Photo copyright Troy Henkels collection.

April 2011

Some great days paragliding resulted in the local Eagle River newspaper, the Alaska Star, doing a feature article.  Click here to see the article and video.

Troy flying off Baldy in front of Mt. Susitna. 

Photo courtesy of Melissa DeVaughn, copyright Alaska Star, April 2011.

Josh launching off Baldy, with Troy soaring out front.

Photo courtesy of Melissa DeVaughn, copyright Alaska Star, April 2011.

Over the weekend SuperDave called to see if I wanted to fly into the mountains to paraglide and ski.  He had access to a PA12, so we grabbed Jason and loaded up the plane with our gear and flew to a spectacular spot in the Chugach Range.  An unbelievable day of paragliding, speed flying, skiing, sheep burgers, and Jason even got some kiting in.  Nothing short of epic!!  Check out the videos here.

 Dave in the PA12.                                                     Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Dave bringing the PA12 in for a landing.Photo copyright Troy Henkels

Hanging out on the glacier with the ski hill directly in the

background.                                            Photo copyright Troy Henkels

Jason getting a kite session with his speedwing. 

                                                  Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

The spring weather in Alaska has been unbelievable!  As a result the paragliding has been out of control.  My best flight this season sp far, I was able to cover about 15 miles and was in the air three hours.  A couple views from flying in the mountains of the Chugach Range. 

                                                                                                     Photo copyright Troy Henkels

Looking back to Eagle River and launch.Photo copyright Troy Henkels

March 2011

Possibly the best kiting day of the season was late in the season, on Eklutna Lake.  Perfect surface and perfect wind.  It was so good that Jason and I were even able to make it twelve miles to the far end of the lake, where the weather was a bit daunting. 

                                                              Photo Copyright Troy Henkels

                                                               Photo copyright Troy Henkels  

Crisp, clear nights in Alaska have provided some great northern lights.  This shot was taken from the deck where I live.  Pretty good for how many other lights are in the area this time of year. 

                                                                                              photo copyright Troy Henkels

February 2011

A photo of Laurent's from the Beglica expedition is being featured in the SF Oceans Festival.  It's a great shot and that just happens to be me climbing ice in Antarctica.  Click here for the official site.

 

January 2011

The weather has been warm and the wind fickle, but kites still

fly in Turnagain Pass.

                                                                                                     Photo copyright Troy Henkels

December 2010

The weather has been cold and clear.  None the less Christmas weekend did not disappoint. 

Paragliding Baldy Mountain, Eagle River, Alaska.         Photo: Troy Henkels

November 2010

Hunkered down in Alaska for the winter writing a book, which is due to the publisher by April 1st.   Plenty to do to keep me inside these days.  None the less, I get out when I can. 

                                                                                                       Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

October 2010

Check out the latest video trailer, it's a classic!  See the blog for the rest of the story. 

September 2010

Several epic long hikes in the mountains and some out of control paragliding lately have supplied plenty of excitement.

Paragliding Eagle River, with Denali in the background.

                                                                           Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Pioneer Peak to Twin Peaks/Eklutna Lake, Chugach Range. 

A 15 mile, 9.5 hour, 12,000' elevation gain hiking odyssey.

                                                              Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Paragliding Hatcher Pass, Alaska.         Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

                                                             Photo copyright TroyHenkels.

Mulitpeak 9 hour hike in Denali Park across Carlo Ridge

offered up epic views of Denali(far left on the horizon).

                                                           

August 2010

Geza Sholtz and I attempt to be the first to kiteboard from Alaska

to Russia across the Bering Strait.  Click here for my full expedition report. 

                                                                              Photo copyright Bjorn Detre.

July 2010

The close of July found me ramping up experiences in the water in preparation and anticipation of the Bering Strait expedition. Namely, 36 miles and over 7 hours on a SUP(StandUp) board from the Knik River to the Port of Anchorage.  And an amazing 30.6 mile down winder with

the kite from Twenty Mile River to Bird Creek.  Playing in 69 miles per hour wind gusts kiting on Turnagain Arm.(yeah this was sorta wild and I have the stitches to prove it!)

                                                             photo courtesy of Tom Schmid   

A strong southeast wind found me on Turnagain Arm and

Eklutna lake training for the Bering Strait crossing in August. 

Epic strong winds but beautiful days.

Kiteboarding Eklutna Lake, Alaska.July 2010.Photo: Troy Henkels

June 2010

The Miracle Mile.  It really doesn't get any better than this.

Finally the rivers are high enough for some packrafting! See 

the Youtube page for the latest videos.Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

                                                                            Photo copy right Troy Henkels.

May 2010

Summer has shown up with a vengance.  Epic warm and sunny weather has not allowed much time indoors.  There has been some great days out paragliding and kiteboarding. 

Kiteboarding 'Weedwhacker' on Turnagain Arm, Alaska.

Spring 2010.                                        Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

April 2010

The North Bound Quest team has returned from the ice!! 

Click here for the latest video by Beeldharing Productions.  Click here for Doug in the news in Oklahoma.  

Click here to visit the website.

Click here for pictures from the expedition.

Click here for video clips from the expedition.

Click here for the full report.

North Bound Quest team on the Arctic ocean, April 2010. 

Photo copyright Troy Henkels

March 2010

Departure for the North Bound Quest Expedition is just around

the corner. To get the proper muscles into shape requires specific training.  The best way to do that is to drag an old spare tire around.  This is taxing on the body in similar ways to a sled, both physically and mentally.  And fresh snow and it can be down right grueling!

                                                                              Photos copyright Troy Henkels.

For the past 15 years I've been helping my friend Jeff King at

the start of the Iditarod. This year was no different, except Jeff announced that this is his last year running competively.  With

any luck he'll pull off a fifth win!!  See my 'YouTube' page for

video clips of the start and restart.

                                                                              Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

February 2010

Some great weather in Alaska found me up at the base of Blacktail rocks in the mountains above Eagle River.  With a nice east wind blowing, I put up the 11meter kite and had a great session.

Snowkiting above Knik Arm, Blacktail Rocks, Eagle River,AK

                                                                                     Photos copyright Troy Henkels.

January 2010   

With a stretch of nice weather the paragliding has been fantastic.

                                                                               Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

December 2009         

Finally got up to Arctic Valley and figured out how to use the

speed wing that a friend is letting me use for the winter.  See the video on my 'YouTube' page in the news section.                         

                                                                                Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Finally we have snow and wind.  With that, I spent the weekend in Turnagain Pass snowkiting and it was nothing short of amazing

                                                              Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

November 2010

On a recent flight to work I snapped this of the setting sun over Cook Inlet, near Tyonek Village.  It was a good day out.

                                                                        Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

October 2009

There is nothing quite like a full moon over the Alaska Range.

                                                                          Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

September 2009

With snow in the mountains and an Alaska fall coming to a close, a group of friends and I hiked up Bear Mountain for one last paraglider flight of the season.  No better word for it than spectacular!(see the photo gallery for more from this flight and the video's page!)

                                                                           Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

With fall quickly coming to a close I was fortunate to be able to spend a long weekend deep in the heart of Denali National Park, exploring some backcountry. With perfect weather for three days straght, it's hard to imagine a more stunning place on earth.

Denali from Wonder Lake.                Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

August 2009

On a recent trip to Cordova in the midst of a weekend of torrential rain I packrafted a section of the Copper River past

the Million Dollar Bridge and Childs glacier.  It was pretty wild to say the least.  The picture below gives you an idea of the scale of this glacier! (I'm in the raft in the center of the picture)

                                                                        Photo courtesy of Tracy Stiehr.

With icebergs all around, calved off from the Miles glacier upstream, I hoped on one and floated underneath the Million

Dollar Bridge with my packraft in tow.

                                                                       Photo courtesy of Tracy Stiehr.

In Whittier ferry terminal I came across this poster for Chugach National Forest of me standing on an iceberg in front of a glacier

in Prince William Sound.  Surpised to see this image as I'd never seen it on this poster for the national forest before.

                                                            Photo Troy Henkels collection.

July25th 2009

After eyeing a ridgeline that runs deep into the Chugach Range,

for several years I finally got around to hiking it.  After 14 hours

on the trail I crossed over Peters Creek Valley and began the

long climb over two mountain passes to cross back to Eagle

River Valley.  It was a long, but good day out.

                                                                       Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

June/July 2009

With unbelievable warm tempeartures and endless sunshine it

has been hard to sit still this summer. The paragliding and kiteboarding have been out of control.  Kiteboarding on Turnagain Arm, though challening, offers some spectacular conditions and scenery.

Paragliding at Aleyska is equally enjoyable.Photot Troy Henkels.

                                                                        Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

June 2009

The rivers have been running somewhat high this year and the packrafting has been really great.  A long day hiking in and

rafting out Peters Creek, which proved to be challenging Class III, IV, and nearly V rapids.  This river the North Fork of Eagle River was running fast but pretty mellow. Such a great way to see the countryside.

                                                                       Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

May/June 2009

5600 miles on the BMW motorbike across the Trans-Labrador highway and New Foundland.  Sometimes it is difficult to keep

the thing upright!

                                                                     Photo courtesy of Tracy Stiehr.

May 2009

Water temperatures are finally warming up and the kiteboarding communtiy is showing up on Turnagain Arm. Nik(pictured), Jeff and I had a nice session on Turnagain Arm on Sunday.

                                                                         Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

The weather and paragliding have been excellent in Alaska the

past few weeks. Here's a sequesce of pictures my friend Kjell

took and pieced together of me launching off Mt. Baldy in Eagle River. 

                                                                 Photo courtesy of Kjell Sporseen.

Although the image is blurry, it was taken by a friend of the

first kiteboarding session in Alaska this spring. There was plenty of wind and it was somewhat chilly, but the kiting was quite amazing.  The really interesting part are all the ice slabs stacked up on shore.....it was even more interesting trying to avoid the ice chunks in the water.  That's just how kiting in Alaska in April tends to be.

                                                                      Photo courtesy of Marc Wizdorf.

April 2009

Springtime in Alaska is one of my favorite times of year.  It's

getting warmer and the daylight hours are longer.  The Snowkiting and Paragliding have been spectacular this year.

Paragliding above the Chugach Range. Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Snowkiting in front of Portage Glacier.Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Paragliding high over Eagle River.Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

March 2009

Dixie and I spent 10 days in Isafjordur, Iceland guiding a group of Belgians who are ambitious about skiing to the North Pole in 2010.  We did a 50-60 mile traverse of the Drangajokull Icecap.  The weather proved to be challenging at times with high winds, blowing snow, and even driving rain.  Much of the trip was in whiteout conditions. The group proved to be impecable and all are looking forward to their quest to reach the North Pole in April of next year.

                                                                         Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

Iditarod 2009

The first Saturday March is the start of the Last Great Race, Iditarod.  For the past 15 years I have helped my friend Jeff

King at the start of the race and several years at the finish in

Nome.   This year was no different.  Under beautiful skies,

Jeff, pictured here left Anchorage at the Ceremonial start on

his way to Nome.

                                                                      Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

March 2009

Alaska in March is fabulous.  The daylight hours are longer

and temperatures warmer.We started the month with fresh snow

and some interesting and intense kiting conditions in the Portage Valley area.  Kiting in front of Portage Glacier proper was unbelievable.  The next day with favorable winds, we were

able to climb off of the Lake and into the mountains to some

amazing terrain lined by snow capped peaks and blue skies.  It really doesn't get any better than this during springtime in Alaska.

                                                                    Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

February 2009

It is not to many times in the middle of winter, in Alaska that the lakes are good for ice skating.  Typically there is to much snow.  This winter presented some very warm temperatures and the opportunity for some Kiteskating on Eklutna Lake.  Imagine a

large kite pulling you around a large lake at high speed.  Great

fun and it does have the tendancy to be somewhat precarious. 

After a great session with the kite, a friend and I skated the

length of the lake and back...about a 15 mile round trip. It was a good day out!!

                                                             Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

January 2009

The past week in Alaska found temperatures in the 40s and even 50s. With the snow melting and city streets flooding, some friends noticed that Eagle River was flowing strong with minimal ice jamming.  January in Alaska, can there be a better time for running rivers??  With temperatures above 30F and partly sunny skies, I grabbed my packraft and myself and two friends paddled for three hours down the main section of Eagle River.  Spectacular trip and mostly done on TOP of the ice that is still lining the river bottom. 

                                                                         Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

December 2008

With the wind howling in Palmer and Wasilla a few friends

and I decided to see how it would be for snowkiting.  It's one

of the few times I've been out that my smallest Kite was too big!  The wind was gusting in excess of 40mph and it was 5 degrees F, WITHOUT the windchill. When big gusts came, we'd be kiting in whitout conditions.  It was pretty wild and very fun. My friend Dave described it as ballistic! Oddly enough, we were right out in front of Sarah Palin's house.....she did not come out and join us.

                                                                        Photo copyright Troy Henkels.

November 2008

Prepartions are coming together for the upcoming guiding

expedition to Isafjodur, Iceland in March with Dixie.  We will not only be training a determined group of guys that we'll take to the North Pole next year but also testing gear for an upcoming Antarctic expedition.

October 2008

I was finally able to kite the epic Bore tide/wave on Alaska's notorious Turnagain Arm.  See the 'In Action' gallery for images

and the news section for the latest articles in Kiteboarding magazine.

Photo courtesy of Ron Niebrugge/www.wildnatureimages.com

 

 

 

 

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Organizations Troy supports.

            

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