On a cloud-free, zero-degrees Fahrenheit vernal equinox, a friend and I made a 10-mile trek out the McKay Creek Trail in Alaska's White Mountains National Recreation Area. As we hiked, my eye was caught by this pair of spruce trees emerging from waves of wind-blown snow near a ridgeline.
What struck me most was how the dry, granular snow that is typical of Interior Alaska had been blown into a poignant reminder that this is a frozen desert, with sheer wavefronts that look like broken sea ice and almost topographical lines on the windward sides that are reminiscent of traditional sand dunes. My trusty smartphone captured the shadows being cast by the winter sun, and we pushed on.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor