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Denali

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Alaska Senior Editor Michelle Theall shares Alaskan portraits from her time traveling and meeting people around the state. For this photo Theall writes, “When you live in Utqiagvik at the edge of the world, you make your own fun. Three kids sit atop a roof to rest after a day of biking along the Arctic Ocean. In typical Inupiat villages, seal pelts hang off ATVs and meat dries on sawhorses in front of homes. Gas is $7.00 a gallon and a two-liter bottle of Coca-Cola will cost you $10. However, bike riding and climbing on a neighbor’s shed remain free for now.” If you live or work in Alaska, you know that life here is different: simultaneously slower, harder, and more adventurous than in the Lower 48. People are fiercely independent, yet friendly. Communities possess unique personalities, defined in large part by their denizens or tourist offerings. Climbing and mining…

Jon Devore catches air during the filming of The Unrideables: Alaska Range in the Tordrillo Mountains. Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool Jon DeVore has one of the most adventurous jobs possible. He’s been aerial coordinator and manager of the Red Bull Air Force for the last 17 years. Basically, he skydives and coordinates stunts for a living. DeVore was born in Colorado but grew up in Juneau after his parents moved there when he was a baby, a move that DeVore says he thanks his parents for every time they talk. “I think it shaped who I turned into,” he says. DeVore kept busy with many of the standard northern sports like skiing, snowmobiling and rock climbing. But he didn’t stop there. “I guess if you asked anyone who knew me, I was always seeking the adventure and adrenaline side of things,” he says. As a high schooler, DeVore and…

Want to see what the weather is like at any given moment around Alaska? You’ll find the most comprehensive system on the FAA Aviation Weather Cameras site. Choose Alaska for the location on this Federal Aviation Administration resource to find out if your destination is sunny or overcast. A screen capture of Berners Bay between Juneau and Haines It’s also fun to peruse places you’re not visiting, just to see what they look like. From Akhiok to the Yukon River Bridge, stations include popular tourist destinations like Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali (still called McKinley on the website), Homer, and Ketchikan. But try clicking on someplace you’ve never heard of—perhaps Nunapitchuk or Perryville or Chistochina. Bon voyage!

At 20,310 feet, Denali dominates the already colossal landscape of the Alaska Range, rising above the horizon of Alaska’s two largest cities, Fairbanks and Anchorage. Seeing Denali, the mountain formerly known as Mount McKinley and the highest peak on the continent, remains at the top of travelers’ bucket lists. Known around the world for its amazing scenery and wildlife, Denali National Park is a place of excitement, inspiration and exploration for travelers. One of the most popular activities is exploring Denali by bus along the 92-mile Denali Park Road. Take in the extraordinary landscape and the opportunity to see Denali (weather permitting)! Tour bus drivers narrate and pause for views of wildlife and scenery. Less expensive, non-narrated shuttle buses, called Visitor Transportation Shuttles (VTS), provide more flexibility to explore the park at your leisure. These buses also stop for wildlife and scenery viewing/picture taking. Lucky visitors will see grizzly and…

During the seventh night of an eight-day ascent up Denali’s demanding Cassin Ridge, Mike Helms and I anchored our tent to a precarious perch at 18,000 feet. That night, we survived hurricane-force winds and in the morning, woke to temperatures that had plummeted to -35 degrees. We waited for the sun before starting for the summit, but the sun offered little warmth, and in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere we struggled to move one foot higher than the other. When we reached 19,500 feet, we saw a small tent and a single climber waving frantically. We arrived to find a man named Jack Roberts; his toes were frostbitten, and his partner, Simon McCartney, lay in the tent semiconscious with high-altitude cerebral edema. We considered our options and hatched a plan: Mike and Jack would continue over the summit and return with rescuers, and I would wait with Simon. They left, but the…