Our December 2014 Photo of the Month features a shot from our exploratory trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this past summer. We traversed over 100 miles of the Refuge, from the Kongakut River to the Hulahula River and saw some awe inspiring terrain along the way. The trip was such a success that it inspired one of our new offerings for 2015: Backpacking the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
This river, a tributary of the Aichilik River, ran though a pinch in the canyon. As Dan Oberlatz, Mark and Joan Stobel, and I were crossing and drying our feet, a couple dozen caribou ran through in small groups, or one at a time. It seemed like a great place for a predator to hang out. That could be why we had seen a Grey wolf only minutes before! We were lucky enough to capture our wolf siting on film, check out our Facebook page to see it for yourself. Long, remote traverses are, for me, extremely rewarding trips. The satisfaction of making it from Point A to Point B is reason enough to embark upon a big trip like ours. But the added benefit of experiencing intimate encounters with the wildest of wildlife helped to make this traverse especially memorable.