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Exploring Juno, Alaska: A Winter Adventure

Introduction

Welcome to the beautiful mountains of Juno, Alaska, where an exciting winter adventure awaits. Join me as I explore the stunning landscapes, climb mountains, and experience the thrill of backcountry skiing in the deepest snow. Get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Juno, Alaska!

Discovering Juno

Juno is nestled in the heart of an enormous temperate rainforest, making it one of the wettest places on Earth. With an average of 230 rainy days per year, Juno is known for its abundant rainfall. However, when you venture into the mountains, the rain transforms into a winter wonderland, with more than 10 feet of snow covering the ground.

Menen Hall Glacier

Just around the corner from Juno, you’ll find Menen Hall Glacier. If the temperatures were a bit colder, it would be possible to walk across the frozen ice. The glacier is a breathtaking sight and a testament to the beauty of nature.

Exploring Eagle Crest

Located on Douglas Island, Eagle Crest is a ski resort surrounded by the Tongass National Forest. While the resort was closed during my visit, I decided to embark on a backcountry adventure of my own. The resort serves as an excellent jumping-off point for hiking and skiing in the untamed wilderness.

Backcountry Skiing Precautions

When venturing beyond the boundaries of the ski resort, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks of avalanches. Sticking close to the trees can serve as an anchor, preventing snow from sliding off the mountainside. By taking this precaution, the chances of encountering an avalanche are significantly reduced.

Embracing the Snowy Wilderness

With the snow-capped mountains as my backdrop, I set out to explore the depths of Juno’s snow. The snow accumulation in this region is exceptional, with gauges recording up to 130 inches, or nearly 11 feet, of snow on the ground. Few places on Earth can compare to the deep snow found in Juno, making it the perfect destination for a winter camping adventure.

Measuring the Snow Depth

To gauge the depth of the snow, I used an avalanche probe. This tool allowed me to measure the snow’s depth accurately and determine if there were any obstacles, such as trees, hidden beneath the surface. The snow was dense and strong, making it ideal for building a shelter.

Building a Snow Cave

I decided to dig a snow cave to protect myself from the elements. Snow caves provide insulation against the cold and wind, maintaining a temperature of around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of the weather outside. The process of building the cave involved carefully carving out the snow and creating a sturdy roof.

Winter Camping Challenges

Camping in the snow presents its own challenges. It’s essential to remember that the snow’s weight can cause trees to collapse or hide potential hazards beneath the surface. Additionally, prolonged exposure to the sun’s reflection on the snow can lead to snow blindness, making sunglasses a crucial accessory.

A Delicious Campsite Feast

After a day of exploring and building my snow cave, it was time to indulge in a well-deserved meal. I prepared bacon-wrapped chicken shish kebabs and couscous, cooked over an open fire. The mouthwatering aroma filled the air as I savored the flavors of the wilderness.

A Sweet Treat

No camping meal is complete without a delicious dessert. I whipped up some brownies, cooked in a mug over the fire, and topped them with homemade whipped cream. The combination of warm brownies and creamy whipped cream was the perfect end to a satisfying meal.

The Magic of Snow Caves

The snow cave provided a cozy retreat from the cold outside. Inside, the temperature remained comfortable, and I enjoyed a restful night’s sleep. It is a testament to the ingenuity of nature and the wonders that can be created with a little bit of effort and creativity.

The Strength of Snow Caves

I decided to put the snow cave to the test by attempting to collapse it. To my surprise, the roof held up even under my weight. However, it’s important to note that the snow’s strength can vary depending on its composition, and caution should always be exercised when constructing a snow shelter.

Farewell to Juno

As the adventure in Juno came to an end, I packed up my belongings and bid farewell to this captivating winter wonderland. The memories and experiences created during this trip will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Continuing the Outdoor Journey

If you enjoyed following along on this adventure, be sure to check out the Outdoor Boys YouTube channel. With hundreds of videos showcasing thrilling outdoor experiences, there’s always something new to discover. Don’t forget to subscribe to stay updated on the latest adventures!

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