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Friday Photo Essay – the Best Expedition of the Year

Andrew Skurka’s marvellous cross-country journey through Alaska and the Yukon ranks, in my opinion, as one of the most impressive expeditions of the last couple of years. It’s worth breaking the lovely series of Night of Adventure talks I’ve been showcasing.

The trip’s total distance was about 4,680 miles and it took 176 days, an average of 27 miles per day. There were 1315 miles of skiing, 2100 miles of trekking, and 1270 miles of packrafting; the route included about 2110 miles of off-trail travel. In other words it’s about five times more impressive than my Iceland trip which I am pretty proud of.

So I’m delighted that he’s sharing his story with all of us today.

Battling a daytime high of -15F plus a stiff cross-wind on Day 2.

My ski tracks along the Peter’s Glacier lateral moraine, in the shadow of Mt. McKinley.

Campsite and bedding on Day 73, May 25, on the Copper River.

A warming fire and afternoon coffee in a Sitka spruce forest along the Gulf of Alaska coast.


Leaning house in historic Dawson City, YT, due to the melting of the permafrost.

Best sunset of the trip, in the Yukon Arctic.

Descending a high pass into the Canning River, Brooks Range.

Please do take a couple of minutes to learn a bit more about this expedition:

Alaska-Yukon summary
National Geographic article
Pre-Edition of his new gear book, A Walker’s Complete Guide to Backpacking & Camping Gear

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  1. Ok, so once I’ve cycled Angola…

    What an awesome landscape to travel through on foot. Quite an expedition!

  2. Wow, what an amazing expedition and great photos! Can’t believe the size of those mosquitoes!

  3. He had a National Geographic photographer along! Hard to beat that for photos. But for those of you elsewhere – be careful in planning a trip to Alaska. This place is addictive (despite the mosquitoes), and you might never want to go back! (And after over 6000 miles of trekking here, I still have about a million Alaska trips left to do).

  4. This is really bad, terrible! My girlfriend is not going to like it much when I tell her I have to go to Alaska now as well, my only hope is she’ll understand and maybe even tag along when she sees these awesome snaps (though perhaps not the one of the mosquitoes)

  5. I recommend you also check out Roman Dial’s post We were a Part train on an errand which describes in great writing and photos Roman’s time with Andrew. A lot better than the NG article (which was too short and left out a lot of stuff) and the here shown photos.



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