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Baranof Island Alpine Traverse August 22 - 25, 2023


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A friend and I did a four day traverse of Baranof Island last August--starting just south of Sitka at the Medvejie Fish Hatchery dock, and finishing the route on the east side of the island at Warm Springs four days later where we were picked up by float plane. Plenty of Brown Bears, bushwhacking, meadows, glaciers & icefields, alpine lakes, and spectacular ridge-walking. Pure joy.


























Edited by Fairweather
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  • Fairweather changed the title to Baranof Island Alpine Traverse August 22 - 25, 2023

Epic in the truest sense of the word!  Is that just super lucky with the weather or were you lying in wait for a window?

And how did you ever get the idea for this trip in particular, of all the Alaskan adventures to be had?

Can you post a map of the rough route or would that spoil the fun?

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I've thought about this one for years, but I can't remember how I got the idea. It's done occasionally by Sitka locals. I'd be happy to share my track via PM. Next up: a packraft traverse of Admiralty Island, or maybe a climb of Peak 5390--Baranof Island's highest point in photo #3.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The trip's high point was 4100' and the total elevation gain/loss was about 7600'. The coolest part was crossing the two large icefields--knowing we were on an island. Lots of fog and mist added to the mysteriousness of it all. On day two, we climbed the "Bear-case"--big bucket steps up a cliff-side forest made by brown bears over thousands of years. The biggest surprise was traversing the north side of Mount Bassie. USGS maps show no permanent ice--but we crossed two large, very active alpine glaciers. The last day involved a 2600' bushwack/cliff descent from the alpine down to Baranof Lake. hanging from cedar branches and huckleberry boot-tapping for a flat spot. Warm Springs, at the end of the route, is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

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