Alex Strohl’s work is characterized by his extraordinary travels and extreme adventures. Continually blurring the lines between work and life, he captures authentic moments as he traverses the globe. This time, the Canadian photographer takes us on a fascinating trip through wild Alaska.
“Alaska is perhaps my favorite place, a rare place where nature is still at full work, preserved in a unique way.” Travelling through the diverse and almost inaccessible land, Strohl wanted to tap into the remoteness of this part of the world, finding ways to explore its corners and crevasses. With unpredictable weather and few, often rough, roads, Alaska may seem like a challenge. Strohl, known for his unusual travels, went on a road trip to discover not only the land. “Alaska is perhaps my favorite place, a rare place where nature is still at full work, preserved in a unique way,” he says, revealing the breathtaking scenes from his trip and his own experience in the words that follow…
Alaska has an overwhelming sense of remoteness, coupled with a powerful proximity to wildlife. This world is shared with a vibrant ecosystem, headlined by some of the largest, most majestic mammals on earth.
"Alaska has an overwhelming sense of remoteness, coupled with a powerful proximity to wildlife. "
Life on the road means freedom, finding swimming holes off the road, scouting camp spots in the hills and choosing whenever you want to stop. None of us had driven the entirety of the Alaska highway. Carving through Northern BC, south-western Yukon and the heart of West Alaska was fascinating. Watching the ever changing landscape shift over the long and impossibly diverse highway was something that you can only experience in a car. Everyday, we would try to find an impossible mountain trail with potential for good views and having the Discovery Sport to do was a bonus.
"Watching the ever changing landscape shift over the long and impossibly diverse highway was something that you can only experience in a car."
“Despite spending the heart of summer here the changes were common and unpredictable.”
Dealing with weather and its rapid shifts in southern Alaska became a theme of the trip. Despite spending the heart of summer here the changes were common and unpredictable. While down in Homer, we hoped to get up in a float plane above the Harding and Kenai Ice-fields. Eventually, we caught a break on this rainy overcast morning to get up, the most beautiful time of day was often just as the rain cleared, so the sun could peak softly through.
This was a shot I had in mind for most of the trip, from up in the heli as two friends biked underneath along a gravel ridge, skirting the glacier. Something about the contrast drew me to the idea of someone biking surrounded by ice, in such an inhospitable environment. After about a millisecond of hesitation, Peter from the Knik River Lodge, agreed to hop on the second bike with Isaac, not being a very experienced biker himself, but game to try something that probably hadn’t been done before.
“It was a magical sunrise as we paddled towards the glacier, through perfectly still waters, patience was a virtue.”
Portage glacier rests behind a large lake bearing the same name. For weeks we tried to catch it on a calm morning, however being so close to the ocean, weather was unpredictable and often both wet and windy. Finally, just a few days before we were headed off the peninsula, conditions were ideal. It was a magical sunrise as we paddled towards the glacier, through perfectly still waters, patience was a virtue.
If you want to find a gem hidden in the Alaskan landscape you better find someone who knows.
Down in Homer, tucked into the Fjords, that probably means someone with a boat. For us that
meant Brad from Coldwater AK. We had spent the day before out on his boat, tracing the
coastline, looking for a spot to camp. Eventually we found an island tucked down a nearby
peninsula, an island we had no chance of finding, much less accessing without the help of
someone who grew up on these waters, who called this bay home.
All images © Alex Strohl