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Norther Heights

by Zach Clanton


This is the seven month road trip that turned into my way of life. The story of two years in pursuit of Alaska. Ferryin up, drivin down, taking up roots and driving back to stay.

It didn’t make sense to leave such an amazing ski in/ski out style cabin in the hills, surrounded by friends and indoor heating, but there was a indescribable pull to leave my comfort zone and make sense of myself in a new environment.

As I look back, I ask myself, “how do I recount two whole years of human experience?” It has been a long, strange trip and the stories I could tell are even longer and stranger.

Instead, I have decided to make a series of posts based on location that is not about me and my accomplishments but rather the places I visit and the people I meet that make everything possible in the Far North. What I want to share with you is the unimaginably large world that exists out there and the potential it holds for adventure. 


Attempting to indulge in my fascination with capturing a fleeting moment of beauty has brought me to one of the most dynamic regions of our planet. But I am nothing without the mountains that inspire hope and the people who always drive me forward. If it wasn’t for the warm hospitality of the Alaskan people who showed me their ways or took me in and fed me when I was hitting rock bottom, I don’t even know where I would be today. This is a piece to show off the Great State in all forms.


For some, AK is more than just the 49th state. It stands proud as a symbol for something that is long lost in most of the world today.

The Alps began their mountaineering history as early as the late 1800′s, the western US soon thereafter. Alaska did not see it’s first alpine pioneer until Brad Washburn started his unmatched streak of first ascents among the highest peaks in the 1930′s. Every mountain range seems to have had it’s golden age come and go and left in it’s wake are mythicized stories of mere mortals turned legends.

Alaska has a rich history but unlike the industrialized and heavily trodden slopes of lower latitudes, the shear inaccessibility of the North still holds in tact a landscape with a history that is yet to be written. This will be the story of my generation.

For the rest of the story and pictures, please check out my website

Biiig thanks to my friends pictured above…James Gustafson, Reese Doyle, Travis McAlpine, Dustin Fric, Tony Pavlantos, Chris Coulter, Neil Provo, Ian Provo, Steve Job, Scott Adamson, Zack Giffin, Chris Williams, Titus, Gareth Brown, Laurie Heckman, Jake Soplanda, and Owen Laine was founded in 2004 and is the world’s first splitboard-specific website; uniting splitboarders around the world while creating an active and vibrant online community.