Taken near the summit of Gareloi Volcano, Aleutian Islands, Alaska on July 23rd, 2009
A slog. That’s what the trek up to the top of Gareloi Volcano was: a vertical mile of knee-high grass, treacherous talus, and shifting snow. And despite my group’s steady pace, the summit never seemed to get any closer. When we finally did near the top, we were stopped dead by a steep slope of impossibly crumbly rock and icy snow. Since we didn’t have any technical climbing gear with us, we decided to stop where we were and savor the vista: an awesome view of Gareloi’s ever-steaming South Crater backed by the beautiful northern Pacific and the islands of Kavalga, Ulak, Amatignak, and Unalga.