Audio Adventure - Solo Hike through Denali

Dirtbag Diaries podcast by Fitz Cahall

Kurt and I received an email this week (via the new contact us page) from a fellow named Fitz Cahall who has created a series of podcasts about outdoor adventure he calls 'The Dirtbag Dairies'. He wrote to tell us about his latest piece which takes place primarily in the rugged wilderness of Denali National Park. The intro, provided by Fitz:

In 1996, photographer John Burcham and three friends completed the first foot traverse of the 650-mile long Alaska Range. Together, they forded streams, chased off curious grizzlies and crossed crevassed glaciers. After 75 days, they had become a single unit. After delays mounted, Burcham decided to leave the group at the very end of the trip in order to make it to his sister’s wedding. They said goodbye and parted ways. He was alone in the continent’s last great wilderness with a sobering realization -- crevasses, hungry wildlife and hypothermia can kill you, but loneliness can drive you crazy.

The program is just over 20 minutes long and contains many excellent photos. The story is told in comfortable fashion, the style of which reminds me a little of the radio program 'This American Life' on NPR; it's got a nice narrative, some laid back music, and a first hand account of the adventure. Have a look:


If you your software doesn't let you view that file, the program is also available as an mp3 here.

The photographer at the center of this story is John Burcham, who's photos have appeared on the cover of National Geographic, and Backpacker magazines. As you'll see, the slide show and story contain a lot of just amazing pictures of the Alaska wilderness. For more of Burcham's shots, check out his webpage.

If you'd like to hear more stories, Fitz has the whole collection on his website, and available via iTunes. Thanks Fitz.