Alaskan Liberation

In 2009, Zach Clanton made the journey from the lower 48 to Alaska, and he’s stayed put ever since. Living a low-overhead lifestyle to fuel year-round alpine adventures, Clanton uncovers a local mountain culture of dream lines and DIY living in the Last Frontier.

Just mentioning Alaska conjures dreamy images of coastal snow plastered against impossibly steep spines – visions of infinite ranges that, once unlocked, can provide confidence, humility and the best runs of your life. But Alaska also comes with connotations of privilege – expensive plane tickets, $1,000-per-day heli budgets and guided trips with endless gear lists aren’t within the average snowboarder’s realm of possibility. The road to snowboard Mecca appears riddled with roadblocks.

There are, however, a handful of dedicated riders who have chosen to approach Alaska in a different way. They live in their tents, trucks and handmade cabins. They operate with minimal overhead because their relationship with these mountains runs deep. It shows in the tracks they leave behind. Up and down, a timeline is carved on the very hills that narrate the story of their lives. For some, riding the Last Frontier gets into your blood and changes you forever. If you ask me, I’d say the lessons we learn up high and bring back to sea level make us better humans…

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