120 miles of one of the very last untraversed mountain ranges in Alaska, John Wros was written into a grant to try to cross Baranof Island in June of 2017.
Funded by the American Alpine Club, the objective is the first lengthwise ridge traverse of Baranof island in Southeast Alaska.
According to John, "The island is 100 miles long by 20 wide and made up of steep peaks rising from sea level to 5,000 ft. The lower flanks are temperate rainforest that support the highest density brown bear population in the US.
Only a small portion of the mountains are named. The vast majority of peaks haven’t been climbed and large areas of the island, including the most technical section of ridgeline—14 miles of glaciers, nunataks, and granite spires—aren’t known to have been visited by people.
The intended route travels 120 miles following ridgelines over 40 or so true summits with more than 120,000 feet of elevation change. It'll be a mix of bush whacking, ridge walking, glacier travel, and 4/5th class scramble."
Baranof Island is so remote, in fact, that the route to get there is an adventure in and of itself! The team will fly from Anchorage to Sitka, take a five-hour water taxi to the northern tip of the island, traverse the route to Port Alexander (pop. 80), take a float plane back to Sitka, then fly back to Anchorage.
Follow John's travels on Instagram!