Ascending Path Blog

Ascending Path is an Alaskan climbing and eco-tourism guide service operating since 1995 world-wide and since 2002 in Alaska. We are AMGA accredited, providing technical climbing instruction and guiding and naturalist guiding in the beautiful mountains of South Central Alaska.
This Blog contains some older adventure stories, news and guides musings... for more current news and trip stories, visit our Facebook page- Enjoy!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Guides Training

Better late than never! But had some photos from our training a few weeks past and thought even though its been awhile it would be worthy to post them.

Guides training I have to say feels like it was months ago....Alaska summers go fast and it constantly feels like a race to get it all in!

Into the woods we go! I finally made it back to tram rock for an afternoon of climbing and thought the routes were super worthy!

I will say it certainly was a pleasure spending time with you all.....hope our paths will cross again! If your ever in Anchor-town swing by the office and say hello!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Okay, I know after this I'll have posted twice, but after yesterday I feel I should share. After almost 4 years in Alaska, over a dozen bear encounters and many "bear talks," I finally had a scary encounter.

The bear I encountered yesterday while hiking with two clients was not very happy with our presence and wanted us out of there. This ocurred just before the bridge at the gorge on Winner Creek, and though I actually followed procedure, the bear still "charged." Fortunately I didn't have to spray the bear, as he/she darted to the right over a morrain several feet before reaching us.

In hindsight, I'm glad that I didn't spray because I was definitely NOT thinking about things like wind direction at the last moment there.

Honestly, I was surprised at how my body reacted. My mouth went dry and I wasn't frightened until afterwards. I just went into focus/numb mode.

The reason I think the bear followed us is that the male client didn't listen to my initial instructions. He really wanted some good pictures of the bear so I think he may have even taken a few steps toward the bear despite my instructions to move behind me (I had the spray). I had given them instructions about bears at the trailhead and then ironically, we revisited the subject about 10 minutes before our encounter.

When the bear first approached, we all raised our arms over our head and yelled "HEY BEAR! GET OUT OF HERE BEAR!" but he kept coming anyway. We then backed slowly away, still making ourselves appear large and yelling, until we were over the bridge, and until the bear started running towards us, across the bridge, and until, fortunately, he/she ran off to the right.

Be bear aware! Any other recent encounters?

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Flora this Week

High Bush Cranberry

Dwarf Dogwood

Twisted Stalk/Watermelon Berry


Devil's Club Ragbag Lichen

Pink Pyrola




Goat's Beard

Hello dear friends....

Phil and I went out the other night and snapped some shots of current plants on the Winner Creek Trail. Here are a few in case you are interested. In another week or two I'll try to take some updated photos.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Thanks for those who helped us along our Path

Welcome to our blog world. We are psyched to let you all know that in 6 years of running The Ascending Path in Alaska we have the best crew of employees yet! Our little company, that Matt started in 1995 as a Climbing bum trying to get his way paid to go climbing, has grown to have 17 employees!!! They are mostly part-timers and seasonal guides working during our busy summer season, but WOW 17 awesome, highly qualified, personable and outstanding individuals. Even though Matt & I have scrimped and worked our asses off for 6 years growing the business, it is finally at a place where we are confident we have the right crew. A place where for the first time in 6 years, Matt & I will be able to relax and not worry too too much about how the business is going to make enough to feed us and now 17 others. We feel so very grateful to be in a place where we can smile knowing that the tireless nights and stress will be defrayed by employees who truly care and are passionate about sharing nature and climbing. We love what we do. We are glad our employees do so also. As my business partner and husband says, "The Way is the Goal!" Even though the way, our way has been bumpy and at times very scary not knowing what having a business would be like, we like the roads we have traveled. Thanks to all of you who have helped us grow and support us on our path. And yes, we too are sorry that we cannot plan in advance in the summer and have fun outings with friends very frequently because work consumes us. But maybe, that will be the days of the we look very positively forward to our 6th summer running a eco-tourism business.