On my first trip to the park, in 2000, Shosh and I were dropped off at Circle Lake by a bush pilot. My backpack weighted 70 pounds. In eight days, we reached the base of the Arrigetch Peaks, a sanctuary of gothic black granite spires and pinnacles reaching haphazardly into the clouds, and explored three of the surrounding valleys (pictures of backpacking). In 2012, encountering daytime temperatures below minus 30F, Regis and I made the hazardous drive up the Dalton Highway in winter to observe the northern lights at the outskirts of the park. In 2023, Tommy and I flew on a mail plane into the Eskimo settlement of Anaktuvuk Pass. Once our newly found Nunamiut friend left us, we didn't see a single person nor even a trace of human activity such as a footprint or user trail for all of our days in the backcountry.
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