Crossing The Gates Of Alaska

Crossing The Gates Of Alaska

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by Dave Metz
     
 

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The snow forms the beginning of a near vertical chute that falls at least a thousand feet. My feet, shaking, manage to hug the thin edge of solid rock. I feel my heart creep to my throat and warm sweat drip down my back, defying the subzero Arctic air. Somehow I reach a plateau and think the worst is behind me. I couldn't be more wrong.

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Overview

The snow forms the beginning of a near vertical chute that falls at least a thousand feet. My feet, shaking, manage to hug the thin edge of solid rock. I feel my heart creep to my throat and warm sweat drip down my back, defying the subzero Arctic air. Somehow I reach a plateau and think the worst is behind me. I couldn't be more wrong.

This is the story of Dave Metz's death-defying, breathtaking, and passionate journey through the Arctic outback. Driven by his lifetime reverence for the outdoors, Dave, with the help of his two beloved Airedale terrier dogs, embarks on a three-month epic of survival and astonishing determination that rivals the most daring world-class explorations.

I find myself on a gigantic trench hemmed in on both sides by peaks that look like ice-daggers from another world. The idea that I'm at the mercy of the wild sinks in. . .and I desperately want out of this endless, icebound maze.

Skiing up frozen rivers, enduring bitter nights at twenty below zero, and staggering across vast reaches of barren tundra and scrub woodlands, Metz's unprecedented 600-mile trek took him to the remotest regions of the untamed North. In frightening and stunning detail, he shows us an unwavering spirit and a compelling sense of adventure that can only be satisfied when truly free. . .

Dave Metz has been to Alaska over a dozen times in the last twenty years. He's kayaked across Alaska twice, once with his beloved dog Jonny riding in the bow, and lived there for two years in remote locations. He's also kayaked and trekked in Peru, Brazil, Canada, and Borneo, and has hiked across most of Oregon and Washington. Despite his forays away from home, he managed to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Portland State University, where he also did course work in zoology. He currently works for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as a seasonal fish biologist. In addition to studying mammals and the preservation of indigenous cultures in rain forest regions, he continues zealously to embark on wilderness survival and exploration adventures, cycling, and hiking trips. He lives Philomath, Oregon.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A seasoned wilderness survivalist takes on Alaska's backcountry in his most daring trek to date. From a young age growing up in Oregon, fish biologist Metz was fascinated by the call of the wild, where he would "feel light-headed and in perfect tune with my body and the world around me, like I belong in the wilderness." Uniquely attracted to Alaska, the author claims more than a dozen trips there since he was 18, when he became "instantly hooked on the place." At 30, he began meticulously mapping out a daring hike that would take three months to complete and cover 300 miles across the Brooks Range, an exceptionally remote, mountainous passage "that shifts dangers with the extreme change in seasons." The area has only been traversed by a handful of hardcore explorers, so Metz planned to stay close to villages to replenish food supplies and then educated himself on the severe weather conditions as well as troubleshooting chance encounters with moose, wolves, bears and the "excruciating loneliness and hours of physical exertion." Along with his two Airedale terriers, Jimmy and Will, the author left Oregon by plane in late March 2007 and headed for his Northwest coastal starting point of Kotzebue, Alaska, where previously mailed boxes of food and clothing awaited him in ten-degree weather. Metz delivers a spectacularly descriptive travelogue by way of chronological journal entries. With 200 pounds of cargo in tow, Metz travelled via dog-pulled skis, a method called "skijoring," and he braved howling winds and numbing subzero temperatures, longed for girlfriend Julie and revisited bittersweet memories of his former canine traveling companion, Jonny. Depleting reserves of food and fatigue, aswell as a tumble into an icy river, threatened his resolve, but the author's ordeal remains a dazzling, grueling experience. An intense treat for armchair adventurers and renegade backpackers. Hopefully the publisher will include a map in the finished book. Local author promotion in Portland, Ore.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806531397
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
02/01/2010
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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Crossing The Gates of Alaska 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Metz's book, Crossing The Gates of Alaska, he and his two dogs travel entirely on foot - without the use of motors or vehicles across the Brooks Range in Northern Alaska. This true story will appeal to true adventurers as well as arm-chair adventurers, young or older. His personal style makes you feel as though you are on the journey with him through numbing cold and blistering wind in one of North America's most remote and beautiful areas. Metz displays a keen understanding of animals and love of the land through the rich narrative that he developed using journals from the trip. He shows an unparalleled ability to learn from the land, from himself and from past experiences. Highly recommended!