Sobering look at the state of the snowpack in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge provided skier Kit DesLauriers as she and her crew take a two week excursion into the 19 million acre expanse in northeastern Alaska. The 60 mile ski tour included systematic scientific snow studies that may change your views on climate changes effect on the Arctic snowpack:
“After becoming the first person to ski the Seven Summits, North Face team athlete Kit DesLauriers found herself searching for purpose beyond herself. And through an epic adventure of athleticism, survival, and conservation, she found it. Beyond the Summit explores her two weeks of traversing the arctic on skis, telling the story of a diminishing snowpack in one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the world—the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
21 cm (8.2”) snow depth has what in common with skiing a first descent in remote NE Alaska? Low water content snow means exactly what to the polar bear whose tracks we crossed? Or the caribou whose migration we witnessed? What did the wilderness boundary represent after completing our mountain objective?
See the story that’s been brewing in my mind for 12 years, ever since I first skied the highest mountain in the Brooks Range of Alaska and then across the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge w/ Hilaree Nelson & friends). This time my teammates were another all-star crew including Jim Morrison Sophia Schwartz and Sarah Carpenter.
We set out to climb and ski the second highest mountain in the US Arctic yet Beyond the Summit is the rest of the story as we all have something to share in this world that is beyond the summit. It’s my sincere hope it gets a lot of views so that together we can learn what we might not know. Please enjoy and share widely!
This is a soul project that had immense collaboration – thanks to all who participated in your own way – I’m grateful and the lands we aim to protect are as well. Filmed on public land native to the Inupiaq and the health of which lays at center of sustenance for the Gwich’in Nation.