Kim McNett

Kim McNett

Kim McNett is equally at home pedaling a fat bike across windswept arctic expanses as she is paddling a sea kayak along rugged and remote Alaskan coastlines. Kim’s explorations of wild coastlines provide her with skills, confidence, and judgement required in her role as an Alaskan sea kayak guide. During the summer of 2010, she paddled a month-long, 500 mile circumnavigation of Prince William Sound in a sleek tandem kayak she hand-crafted with her partner, Bjørn Olson. In the winter of 2014, Kim and Bjorn rode fat bikes 1100 roadless miles across Alaska. Their five-week journey followed the Iditarod trail from its start in Knik north to Koyuk, traversed the Seward Peninsula, and continued north of the Arctic Circle to the village Kotzebue. They often pedaled 11 or 12 hours per day, then divided the daily tasks of winter living in the far north. Kim is an artist, environmental educator, and avid “nature-geek”. She lives a simple, sustainable lifestyle in the community of Homer.

Caroline and Patrick

Caroline and Patrick

Caroline Van Hemert and Patrick Farrell’s 4,000 mile human-powered backcountry journey in 2012 fulfilled a grand dream. They left Bellingham, Washington on March in hand-crafted boats. By September, they had rowed the Inside Passage, skied across the glaciated Coast Range, hiked and paddled the headwaters of the Yukon, crossed the rugged Tombstone Mountains, pack-rafted and slogged the muddy, mosquito-infested MacKenzie River delta. After trekking 200 miles along the arctic coast, they traversed the Brooks Range by foot and packraft, and canoed the length of the Noatak River to Kotzebue.

Ten years earlier, their first long wilderness journey together took them deep into the remote Yukon Territory. They built a bark canoe with hand tools and paddled it 300 miles through the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Their lives and dreams were inseparably woven together.

Meet Pat and Caroline…

Katmai, Lituya, Erin, and Hig

Katmai, Lituya, Erin, and Hig

Katmai McKittrick and Lituya Higman have explored nearly a thousand miles of rugged Alaskan coastlines. They traversed the world’s largest piedmont glacier, living on ice and glacially-transformed landscapes for two months. Before Katmai was age five he circumnavigated of Cook Inlet with its mudflats, bears, and powerful currents. Sister Lituya completed the journey before her third birthday.

Their parents, Erin McKittrick and Hig (Bretwood Higman), have never shied from new challenges. Complete a 100-day Alaskan wilderness trip with children? Why not?

Erin and Hig embarked on their first extended wilderness trip together in 2001, hiking and paddling 700 miles down the Alaska Peninsula. Six years later, they endured a year-long 4000 mile trek from Bellingham, Washington to Unimak Island in the Aleutians. Lessons learned and the relationship forged in their amazing journeys and prepared them well for grand adventures with two young children.

Meet Lityua, Katmai, Erin and Hig…

Alaska Journeys, Old and New

Alaska has always drawn adventurers. The first Alaskans trekked into undiscovered landscapes  or paddled skin boats across island chains and along arctic coastlines. Their journeys with simple, hand-crafted gear and complex knowledge of their environments instill envy...
Winter Musings

Winter Musings

The subarctic afternoon twilight dims rapidly, as I glide along on Nordic skis, double-poling behind by my three harnessed huskies.  Fresh tracks of moose, fox, lynx, marten, hare, squirrel, and ptarmigan cross fresh powder on the trail, turn the dogs’ noses,...
Bjørn Olson

Bjørn Olson

Bjørn Olson has made an art of wilderness bikepacking. He envisions coastal shorelines, frozen rivers, game trails, and tundra as opportunities to explore ambitious new routes to cycle in all seasons. Combining packrafts with fatbikes, Bjørn and partners have pedaled and paddled their ways through long wilderness adventures with their “go-light, go-far” ethic.

Bjørn is a renaissance Alaskan adventurer. An accomplished sea kayaker, he plays in rock gardens, surfs winter shore break, and has circumnavigated the rugged coast of southcentral Alaska to Kodiak. He embraces mountaineering, back-country snowboarding, and even rough terrain unicycling as ways to experience the Alaskan wilds.

Meet Bjørn…

More Alaskans Join 49 Faces

More Alaskans Join 49 Faces

As we spread our vision of featuring a diversity of Alaskan adventurers in our interactive iBook project, we keep learning about and reaching out to incredibly interesting personalities. Bjørn Olson has accepted our invitation to join the 49 Faces project. We hope to talk more with Bjørn soon, when he isn’t exploring the state by fat bike and paddle, or surfing Kachemak Bay…

Alaskans About Alaska

Alaskans About Alaska

All of the Alaskans we’ve talked to about the 49 Faces project have shared reasons they love exploring the wild country that surrounds them in the 49th state. We’ve begun to capture audio and video interviews with the 49 Faces participants. We plan to the...