Who is going on this journey?
I am from Switzerland and moved to Seattle after meeting and falling in love with Ricardo. After passing my bar exam in the US, I was fortunate to work for an environmental organization. My parents started taking me on day-hikes even before I could walk. However, it wasn’t until I finished university that I rediscoverd my love for the outdoors and hiking. It helped me to realize that coming bottom of my class in sports does not have to stop me from being active and do what I love. After that, I started going on many multi-day backpacking trips, in the beginning in the Swiss and French Alps, later abroad, combining it with my love for travel. I am passionate about environmental protection, and encouraging women to to on bigger outdoorsy adventures. I love exploring remote, very little travelled areas of our wonderful planet on foot and learn from locals.
I am from Madrid, Spain but have been living in Seattle since 2010. I moved to Seattle for my PhD in Computer Science and during that time I got to really love the outdoors. Before that, I really enjoyed traveling during my undergraduate years in Europe, including an Eurorail trip in Eastern Europe and trips for competitions all around the world. Between undergrad and grad, I spent 5 months traveling the world, including a 850 mile bicycle ride around New Zealand and outworldly experiences in Vanuatu. As I settled in Seattle, I was able to pursue my dream of learning how to drive and buying a car (not that common in Spain!). In rapid succession, I learned how to (heavy) powder skiing, backcountry skiing, and mountaineering. Unfortunately, the new adventures brought a series of injuries, including an ACL tear that wore off my unhealthy obsession with skiing. Next, I picked up backpacking, and started enjoying the Cascades. My next big adventure took me to a week-long hike in Torres del Paine where I met Salomé.
I am currently a researcher at Google working on the future of communication, and my biggest passion is making pretty pictures that tell a story. You can read more about my work here.
We met in Patagonia over 5 years ago. As our first vacation together, we crossed Iceland from North to South on foot, a journey that confirmed our love for each other and the outdoors. We have since gone on many adventures together, in the US and abroad, backpacking, kayaking, and backcountry skiing.
Why are we going on this journey?
We are excited to do a long wilderness trip together and to challenge ourselves! It has beeen a dream for both of us since before we met and has become a joint dream since. We have both gone on many wilderness adventures before, some together, and some by ourselves - but nothing on this scale. We backpacked across Alaska’s Wrangell - St. Elias National Park in 2019 and came back home with the dream of returning to Alaska! It seems to be the perfect place for a long and remote adventure.
Are we prepared?
Probably not! But will we ever be? We have a lot of long-distance backpacking experiences, but this journey will be our first packrafting adventure. We started seakayaking a few years ago and we have explored the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands on multilple sea kayaking trips, but whitewater is a new experience for us. We have hiked offtrail in remote areas before, but the vastness of some of the places we plan to go dwarfs most of our prior experiences.
Has anyone done something similar?
Definitely. Many native americans, goldminers, and early-day explorers walked and paddled through Alaska and experienced harsh conditions many years before our modern, light-weight equipment. Most recently, several adventurers have crossed Alaska:
- Dick Griffith’s numerous expeditions criss-crossing Alaska (book)
- Erin McKittick and Bretwood Higman’s year-long journey from Seattle to the Aleutian Islands (book)
- Caroline Van Hemert and Patrick Farrell’s 4000-mile journey from Bellingham to the Arctic (book)
- Andrew Skurka’s Alaska-Yukon Expedition (report)
We are not hoping to best them in any way, but instead are inspired by their journeys, and look forward to our own adventure.