Scariest Experience Ever in Alaska Wilderness

I spent the morning thinking, while I was working in the greenhouse, what I could share with you that would fill in a few more of the blanks about what we do and how…

The big one concerns worries, fears and scares.

Scariest Experience Ever

The remote wilderness lifestyle that we live and live in, year round in Chisana, Alaska, is a huge source of the questions and confusions many people have.

About Alaska and about Pioneer Outfitters.

Fear of the remoteness, fears of the unknown, stopping some of you from an experience of a lifetime. “Are you ever afraid?” ~ I’ve been asked this a few times over the years.

Scariest Experience Ever

The dangers that follow Murphy’s Law around, we deal with. As professional guides, by your side, dealing with any imminent danger, being able to react quickly and decisively and make accurate decisions is a description that gets left out of conversations too often.

Let’s just pretend things don’t get hairy at times? Well, I promised to be “transparent” with this blog.

Sure, things get a little stressful, sometimes that’s just how the moment is.

Pioneer Outfitters, are horse outfitters.

We are located deep in the mountains. Pioneer Outfitters is located in a fly-in area inside and surrounded by the Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

It still always surprises me when folks ask me about cell service. We didn’t have phones until 1997. The closest phone was a 30 minute flight in a Cessna 206 airplane or a 55 minute flight in the Super Cub.

There is no cell service.

Now, years later we do have phones via the AT&T earth station housed on our property, as good or better (except for an occasional echo!) than in “town” and that nifty Magic Jack and Skype in case something breaks that we can’t fix.

We have internet through Star Band and every station Dish Network can come up with. Satellite phones to go to camp with, for check-ins at and with the Lodge.

Likely, if you were a licensed Alaska Big Game Guide, looking for a guiding job in the “Lower 48″, you’d be hired immediately and with a grin.

Sure, references checked, interview with the Boss, but a professional Alaska Guide? It (and they) doesn’t come any tougher.

In any wilderness, anywhere, I would feel safe knowing one of us were there. The key ingredient in receiving an Alaska Big Game Guide license is experience.

Scariest Experience Ever

In my opinion, the biggest danger we face is Nature, herself.

Most likely all Professional Guides, if not all guides, in any aspect would agree.

The horses, the wildlife and glacier fed rivers and creeks; they all have inherent dangers that caution, experience and expertise all but nullify.

We (the Professional Guides) deal with what gets left over.

Have I ever been scared? Sure. Yes. For moments.

Then it kicks in, “OH!, OK!“. Then I get busy.

Following orders quickly, our team puts things back to rights, it’s almost always out-loud-funny by camp time. (Seriously)

Horses slip, bogs change, people get tired and distracted.

Nature is at the crux of at least half of the adrenalin rush-scares I’ve had in the 22+ years I have been here. River channels change, trails get washed away and alternate routes are made and taken.

Scariest Experience Ever

I’ll share with you one of the funniest scariest experience ever that I have endured.

I had a guest reach out and give that nice sapling next to him a shake as he rode by it on his horse.

“Why?” You may wonder.

Well, he watched a squirrel run up it, right in front of him, how could he resist? (!) Can you guess what happened?

Yep. The squirrel jumped right off of that skinny shaking tree and right onto the butt of the horse he just happened to be riding!

Yipee! (“Holy Shit, I didn’t know Custer could buck like that!”  ~ was what I was thinking)

Then I was moving to intercept, “whoa! Settle down!” ~ Of course it helped that with that first leap, the now completely traumatized squirrel was launched into the tundra.

Do you need to worry or be afraid to experience the Last Frontier?

No. Not with a reputable, professional licensed guide.

It is an amazing experience. It is truly an Adventure beyond any words I could use to paint you a picture.

Every night, I lay down, and know beyond any doubt that we are blessed to be here.

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