Sunday, May 19, 2019

Shawn Lyons is a part-time instructor of guitar at the University of Alaska in Anchorage where he also teaches English Composition and Literature. Shawn is also avid hiker and hill scrambler. Growing up in the Boston area, he spent his early years wandering in the White Mountains. At the age of 17, he hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine and, at the age of 18, hiked the Long Trail from Massachusetts to Canada. Since moving to Alaska, he has become the hiking guru of Southcentral Alaska. He is a nine-time winner of the Iditashoe wilderness snowshoe race, and three-time winner of the 100 mile Coldfoot Classic held each year above the Arctic Circle. Shawn writes a weekly hiking and climbing column for the Anchorage Daily News.

Shawn Lyons is, by vocation and avocation, a person of many parts. As a professional classical guitarist, he plays dinner music every Thursday through Saturday at Villa Nova Restaurant in Anchorage. When he is not playing guitar at Villa Nova, Shawn is a part-time instructor of guitar at the University of Alaska in Anchorage where he also teaches English Composition and Literature. Shawn is also avid hiker and hill scrambler. Growing up in the Boston area, he spent his early years wandering in the White Mountains. At the age of 17, he hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine and, at the age of 18, hiked the Long Trail from Massachusetts to Canada. Since moving to Alaska, he has continued to hike and climb extensively. So much that after many long hikes through many a valley and over many a summit, he has become, for some, the hiking guru of Southcentral Alaska. Nor is this all he does in the outdoors. As an ultra-athlete, he is a nine-time winner of the Iditashoe wilderness snowshoe race, and three-time winner of the 100 mile Coldfoot Classic held each year on Halloween above the Arctic Circle. Shawn’s narratives about his hikes and races often appear in a weekly hiking and climbing column that he writes for the Anchorage Daily News.

Shawn Lyons is a part-time instructor of guitar at the University of Alaska in Anchorage where he also teaches English Composition and Literature. Shawn is also avid hiker and hill scrambler. Growing up in the Boston area, he spent his early years wandering in the White Mountains. At the age of 17, he hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine and, at the age of 18, hiked the Long Trail from Massachusetts to Canada. Since moving to Alaska, he has become the hiking guru of Southcentral Alaska. He is a nine-time winner of the Iditashoe wilderness snowshoe race, and three-time winner of the 100 mile Coldfoot Classic held each year above the Arctic Circle. Shawn writes a weekly hiking and climbing column for the Anchorage Daily News.

Walk-About Guide to Alaska, Volume Two, the second of four hiking guides to Southcentral Alaska, journeys through the Front Range of the Chugach Mountains and across the Anchorage bowl. Rising so close to Anchorage, one can consider the Front Range and its foothills the playground of the city. On any given day of the week in any season one could very possibly find people climbing Flattop Mountain and Wolverine Peak, skiing up the Ship Pass valley, biking Powerline Trail, or napping alongside Rabbit Lake. In addition to the Front Range, the Anchorage bowl also serves as a playground for the city. Threaded by many miles of bike trails, ski trails, and hiking trails, it can satisfy almost any craving for outdoor activity. It even offers a couple of beaches—though these prove far better destinations for beach-walking than swimming.

In the four volumes as a whole, which collectively contain hikes and climbs from as far south as Homer and Seward to as far north as the Talkeetna Mountains and as far east as Glenallen one should find adventures suitable to every level of skill and fitness. As such they include flat and short trails to mountainous cross-country treks. They also include climbs on gradually switch-backed trails to scrambles up near-precipitous gullies. They even include adventures that entail crossing glaciers and fording creeks. On some of the more popular hikes and climbs one will share the trail or summit with many people. On others, however, one could very hike up an entire valley, traverse the length of a ridge, or scramble to a remote summit without seeing another person for a day or even more Then, with perhaps a few marmots, an eagle, or a moose or bear for company, one might then realize one of the many wonders of hiking in Alaska.