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Ring of Fire

Last Modified: 26th March 2015

Alpacka Gnu and trailer

Kim and I will be using a two person Gnu packraft and a trailer to carry our bikes on our Ring of Fire expedition.

 

Between South East Alaska and South Central Alaska lies the sparsely populated Lost Coast – a long and exposed stretch of shoreline peppered with bays, fjords, North America’s largest glaciers, mountains that touch the sky and vast wilderness. We aim to bike it.

 

Our trip will begin in Juneau around summer solstice. With a new double Alpacka packraft configuration and fancy carbon fiber Salsa Beargrease fat-bikes we will work our way to the outer coast and follow the path of most interesting resistance to Cordova. From Cordova we plan to make our way to Whittier and from there, onward to the outer coast of the Kenai Peninsula to our home in Homer.

 

Kim and I are well versed with the terrain of Prince William Sound and the Kenai Peninsula but neither of us has been along the Lost Coast. The excitement of experiencing and seeing new terrain is matched perfectly with the desire to return to some of our favorite Alaskan landscapes.

Fat-Bikes and Musk-Ox

Corrosion resistant, field repairable and feather-weight fat-bikes from Salsa Cycles is our bike of choice for this nearly one thousand mile wilderness expedition.

Keeping our gear weight as light as possible will be vital on a trip of this length, but that is not our only consideration. Food and gear will need to be protected from water, bikes will need to be as corrosion resistant as possible and we will require large volumes of space in our packs to carry enough food between the sparse resupply locations.

 

In 1888, Fridtjof Nansen became the first person to ski across Greenland. He and his party decided it would be best to begin the trip on the uninhabited east coast and ski to the western coast where there were communities. He figured that if there was nothing for them to retreat to, and a happy reward awaited them by moving forward, he’d be assured success. We are playing on this theme by advancing toward our home and comfortable bed. As long as it takes, but always forward, is the motto we employed on our Fat-Bike to the Arctic trip last winter, which we will bellow again along the Ring of Fire.

With the advent of the modern fat-bike and packraft, vast swathes of Alaska have been opened up to a uniquely 21st century form of exploration. Kim and I are excited to be engaged in exploring new terrain and discovering our limitations and boundaries within this form of wilderness adventure.

Ring of Fire Map

Bjørn and Kim's 2015 summer fat-bike/packraft route. GET PHOTO

Bjørn and Kim's 2015 summer fat-bike/packraft route.

 

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By Bjørn OlsonGround Truth Trekking

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Date Created: 25th March 2015