When in doubt, go higher

In July I climbed Mt. Healy, the peak that overlooks the entrance to Denali National Park.  That there is a trail for much of the route makes it very attractive – crashing through willows gets old sometimes.  Although it’s a fairly popular hike, the trail only goes to the “overlook” – past that point I am typically alone on the rest of the route.

Lots of flowers lining the route

To the top and then back home in a couple of hours – always a great way to spend an afternoon.


When I get frustrated with some aspects of living here, I remind myself sometimes about the unique things that make this place so cool.  How many places in the world could I summit a decent-sized peak at almost 10pm, and still make it back down in daylight?

That’s what I did recently during a camping trip.  With a line of peaks rising a couple thousand feet above my campsite, I couldn’t resist the urge for a quick evening summit.  Unfortunately it turned out to be less than quick, as I misjudged the amount and density of willows lining much of the route.  What I thought would be 2 hours round-trip turned into 4, but I still had a great time.  Although, between crashing through branches, and getting eaten by the thick mosquitoes, my legs certainly weren’t winning any beauty contests!

Most of the way up. What a fantastic view of the Alaska Range and the incredible glacial valley.

At the top! (of this peak at least) I wanted to walk more of the ridge, but it was nearing 10pm, and I definitely needed dinner.