The sheer scale of Alaska’s pristine wilderness is difficult to grasp. 54 million acres of national park play host to grizzly bears, meandering moose, imposing mountains and fairy-tale fjords. With the ever-changing seasons bringing spectacular new perspectives, America’s 49th State has to be seen to be believed.
Immerse yourself in the wild spirit of Alaska, in luxurious private cabins, lodges and retreats accessible only by air or sea…
And prepare to disconnect…
Sheldon Chalet is uniquely positioned on Earth. There are no better accommodations with the combination of high latitude (63 degrees North) and elevation (5,800 feet). Because of this unique combination, the Troposphere at Sheldon Chalet is only 28% as thick as the equator. What this basically translates into is breath-taking views, stunning vistas and mesmerising displays of the Northern lights.
Together with zero light pollution, the intensity of any moonlight, starlight, aurora, shooting stars, sunrise/sunset or daylight colours illuminate the entire 35 square mile amphitheatre and the mountains beyond. The views of north America’s highest mountain, Denali, are gob-smackingly awesome!
Sheldon Chalet, a new, beyond luxury lodge that opened last year, sits right on Denali’s shoulder, less than ten miles from the summit, and is accessible only by helicopter. Here are the bare facts: in the 1950s, a pioneering adventurer and bush pilot named Don Sheldon homesteaded five acres inside what would later become Denali National Park and Preserve, including a 300-foot-high granite outcropping sticking out of a glacier. Atop it, he built a hut that, by virtue of its location, was only practical for use by experienced mountaineers.
Don Sheldon died in 1975, but last year, just downhill from the original hut, two of his children built a hexagonally shaped, heavily engineered, highly sophisticated five-bedroom arctic stronghold, from which guests can trek over glaciers and gaze out at the aurora borealis.
Flying in, guests will experience Alaska’s majestic and mighty beauty from the helicopter’s cockpit as birch forest gives way to great plains of ice, snaking through a towering maze of snow-corniced rock, like a metropolis of monolithic and mountainous peaks.
The lodge itself fortifies guests with cosy and luxurious comforts. There’s a warm stove, with individually curated meals on standby, that will make you feel at home, smooth and silky faux-fur blankets, world class food and beverages, and an attentive and experienced team of family and staff to take care of your every need.
Upon arrival, guests will be enveloped by the chalet’s warm embrace and greeted by chefs Dave Thorne and Micah Miller, who welcome guests elegantly by setting out champagne, oysters and king crab, and other exquisite and tasty morsels that will introduce the standards of this ultra-luxe experience within the Arctic wilderness.
In the summer months, dusk never quite reaches full darkness and there are a host of outdoor activities to tempt you into the invigorating arctic landscape. The team can arrange helicopter excursions to remote hot springs, fishing spots and berry bushes ripe for foraging. It’s also a tremendous adventure to simply walk out onto the glacier itself. You will soon find yourself strapping on snowshoes, roped together with a mountain guide and heading out on micro expeditions of the surrounding areas.
Prepare to disconnect and absorb Mother Nature’s dazzling array of tonics that will refresh and revive your soul and recharge any low batteries within a two- or three-night period, leaving plenty of time to explore intrepidly through the incredible surroundings of the property for the rest of your stay.
Stepping outside, there is only awe-inspiring nature and silence. A landscape produced by millennia of shifting rock formations and compacting ice, a place so profoundly raw, rugged, and technically uninhabitable that in its presence you feel both dwarfed and insignificant… euphoric and inspired.
You feel so minute, and your life so brief and fleeting, compared to the timeless, ancient and almost sentient peaks that gaze back at you. Those who come here cannot help but feel deep gratitude to bear witness to this part of our planet.
The experience is so overwhelmingly mind-blowing that you have no choice but to be aware, conscious and present; to delete and rid your mind of technological concerns like Instagram or self-affirming WhatsApps and texts. Disconnect and just, be. Meditate… Go into the wild… Rediscover your inner peace and return to revisit your own true story… there’s no Wi-Fi here anyway…
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Expect elaborate theatrical events, wild escapades and eccentric characters…