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M Training for Backpacking

by David Chenault

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Article Summary:

Back in July of 2012 I sat on a gravel bar along the Little Bremner River in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. I was deeply unhappy. Roman Dial had disappeared into the brush 15 minutes before. Packing a little slower, I had followed his footprints a ways back into the forest before turning around and returning to the river. These mountains were scary, untracked and fully formed in a way I'd never before seen. I had won a lot of confidence hiking with Roman for much of that morning. That was not my most serious concern. My right foot creaked and protested, hesitating at full extension and twinging when I took a big step down on it. The way forward was a brushy and extremely steep 4000 vertical foot climb. It would not be safe. I pulled out the sat phone.


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