The Alaska Range stretches more than 650 miles over central Alaska, separating the southcentral coast from the interior of the state. In his new book, Alaska Range, award-winning photographer Carl Battreall and seven well-known Alaskan writers and adventurers – Art Davidson, Roman Dial, Jeff Nenowitz, Bill Sherwonit, Verna Pratt, Brian Okonek and Clint Helander – share the awesome beauty of this truly wild place.
Since moving to Alaska in 2001, photographer Battreall has spent countless hours photographing the state’s most remote and isolated alpine regions. In his quest he has explored more than 200 glaciers in 14 different mountain ranges in Alaska, reaching deep into the Revelation, Hidden and Nutzotin, Neacola, Tordrillo and Kichatna Mountains – all part of the Alaska Range – to places that few people ever see.
In addition to essays by noted Alaskans that capture the very essence of Alaska’s backcountry, Battreall’s stunning photos make this hardbound, coffee table book a treasure to have in one’s library.
Adventurer Dial chronicles his fascinating 600-mile traverse in 1996 across the length of the Alaska Range – an epic journey by bicycle, pack raft and on foot.
Benowitz, a geochronologist at the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, has spent 26 years climbing the breadth of the Alaska Range. In his chapter, Benowitz describes the geologic forces over millions of years that created the vast Alaska Range and North America’s tallest peak, Denali.
Pratt, author of five books on native Alaska plants, guides us through the flora of Alaska Range, explaining why certain plants exist in specific habitats according to latitude, elevation, soil type and exposure to various weather elements, as well as orientation to the sun.
Noted outdoor writer Sherwonit draws from his extensive backcountry experience to describe wildlife that can be seen in the Alaska Range’s varied ecosystems.
Legendary mountaineer Okonek offers a historical perspective, describing the Natives’ early mapping in the Alaska Range, and later, the mapping efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). He reviews the earliest climbs on Denali and some of the more notable ascents, including his own expeditions.
Noted alpinist Helander takes readers through spellbinding, pioneering climbs on remote mountains, such as 9,170-foot Mount Mausolus in the Revelation Mountains, and Mount Hunter.
At the end of his essay, Helander comments: “As I grow, my mind expands to new possibilities and slowly cuts away the impossible. My imagination runs wild, because it has been proven time
and time again that the limits of possibility are constrained solely by the limitations of our imagination.”
Battreall’s “Alaska Range” is an impressive collection of stories and photos that transports readers to the very heart of the Alaska Range. Most of us will never venture to these remote places, but in an evocative and inspiring way, this book does just that.
“The Alaska Range: Exploring the Last Great Wild” by Carl Battreall is 176 pages in length and published by Mountaineers Books based in Seattle, Wash. It is available at the following link:
The book’s foreword is written by Art Davidson.
Editor’s Note: Frank E. Baker is a member of The ECHO News and a freelance writer who lives in Eagle River. Contact Frank via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org