University of Alaska PRESS

Book Detail

Book Cover

280 p., 110 color plates, 3 maps, 7 x 9

Format: paper

Price: $24.95

2011

Canyons and Ice

The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith

by Johnson, Kaylene



Solo travel today is anything but solitary, with the familiar glow of technology and nearly sentient gear as common companions. But for decades, one especially daring traveler has set off into the wilderness with little more than a sense of adventure. Dick Griffith is an Alaska legend who made his name from a string of fearless firsts: pioneering rafting down the Green and Colorado rivers, skiing solo across the icy Northwest Passage, and being the first non-native to drop into the treacherous Barranca Del Cobre in Mexico. In this first full biography of Griffith, Canyons and Ice offers a rare look at the man behind the soaring achievements and occasionally death-defying moments. Both a grand tale of adventure and a reflection on what motivates a man to traverse some of the most remote places on earth, it will set fire to readers’ adventurous spirits.

Kaylene Johnson is the author of five books and numerous articles about Alaska and the people who live there. She lives in Eagle River, Alaska.

Stoical, utterly self-reliant, and attracted by challenges of immense scale, Griffith brings to mind heroic figures of an earlier, less craven era: stalwart individuals like Shackleton, Amundsen, Nansen, and Stefansson who explored some of the least hospitable places on earth without benefit of GPS, Gore‑Tex, or the possibility of rescue . . . As this gripping and inspiring book explains, Griffith is simply ‘afflicted’ with an irresistible inclination to attempt what others say can’t be done.”

—Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, and Where Men Win Glory.

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