Gates of the Arctic
I've been dreaming of Alaska more than normal these days...Which is certainly to say that I'm always dreaming of Alaska. My last trip was largely touristy. We stayed in some cabins, took a flight, visited some glaciers, etc... I'm scheming a trip to Gates of the Arctic national park now, as it seems like arguably the purest way to spend a couple weeks in Alaska without tourism involved.
(Picture for attention, or nostalgia for those that have flown around Denali).
I have plenty of experience outdoors (mountaineering, trekking, hiking, etc...) and feel confident in navigation and general survival skills. However, It's my understanding that Gates of the Arctic is a bit of another level when it comes to exposure and remoteness. This is the primary reason I'm so interested.
This begs my first question though: is it worth choosing a "route" that someone else has put together in a place like this? This may seem naive, but I sometimes fail to shake the pride that goes into such planning. On the other hand, a perfected or refined route garners a sense of safety and clarity that I can't ignore.
I'd love to discuss other people's experiences if anybody on here has visited that way. I'd be open to route advise, gear advise, etc... as well. I feel happy with my gear (which pretty much all happens to be HMG at this point), but I'd love to hear what kind of gear made the difference? Solar panels? Pack rafts? Pet bears? I'd love to hear it all!