Friday, May 6, 2016

Up Sugarloaf Mountain: Springtime at Denali

View from the windy top of Sugarloaf Mountain

Yesterday I got the chance to take my first hike up Sugarloaf of the season. I am hoping to get up there once per month this summer, for a total of five times: May, June, July, August & September. Denali is beautiful again, with far less snow this year. We are happy to be back to work another season at the Grande Denali & Denali Bluffs Hotels. This year we get a special treat - my mom came up to work alongside us all summer. It's such a joy that we'll get to spend the next few months together. 
The hike up Sugarloaf was tough, steep, crumbly, snow drifts to get over and around. I loved it! At the top, all I could do was take a snapshot, and turn around quickly while I still had a bit of body heat built up. It was crucial that I get myself out of the frigid wind before I lost that heat. Then there was the trip down. I continue to be grateful for my trekking poles, which saved my knees undue stress and strain and saved me from plummeting down the ridgeline. And all that joy was packed into just 3 hours. I got back to the Grande Denali employee dining room in time for a hot lunch! Here's to a summer's worth of hiking! 

Requisite selfie at the top - gotta prove that I was there! 

Nenana River, view south from the ridgeline of Sugarloaf Mountain

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