Prep Like a Pro

Backpacker - - Contents -

Tackle the coun­try’s big­gest na­tional park with tips from a moun­tain guide.

EV­ERY­THING IS big­ger in Alaska: Wrangell-St. Elias (left) is the largest na­tional park in the coun­try, al­most six times the size of Yel­low­stone. Even Sarah Ebright, who guides full-time for St. Elias Alpine Guides, hasn’t cracked a dou­ble-digit per­cent­age of ex­plo­ration af­ter five years of work­ing there. She fig­ures she’s seen about 5 per­cent of the park, and calls that a high es­ti­mate. Why so tough to ex­plore? In most places, you have to drop into the trail­less back­coun­try by plane, and then jagged alpine passes and snow-draped vol­ca­noes make for slow go­ing. “I love that feel­ing of be­ing so lit­tle,” Ebright says. “You look around and the moun­tains just keep go­ing, as far as you can see. You feel like a tiny speck on the sur­face of the Earth.”

SARAH EBRIGHT St. Elias Alpine Guides Op­er­a­tions Man­ager

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