Operation Adventure: An Inside Look at Tsaina Lodge in Alaska

With summer fast approaching, I’m feeling the urge to challenge myself with an outdoorsy adventure – and Alaska’s Tsaina Lodge fits the bill. Nestled atop Thompson Pass in the Chugach Mountain Range, this remote escape offers everything from helicopter sightseeing to shark fishing (yes, you read that right). So, I chatted with Tsaina’s CEO, David Hudacsko, to get the inside scoop on a day in the life. Have to mentally prepare, after all.

BLG-1467 Boutique Support Tsaine Lodge

7:30AM: When there are 20.5 hours of daylight to work with, there’s always time for an excursion or two. Best to get up bright and early (but maybe not too early) to prep. Hudacsko says it’s “typically 65 degrees in July and August, but we are in Alaska and near the water. Pack for mountain weather that will change in a moment’s notice, and always have a windbreaker on you.”

9AM: Hudacsko cites helicopter fishing, sightseeing, hiking, and glacier exploration as some of the lodge’s top adventure options. Schedule your time the night before, then lift off from the on-site heli-pad in Tsaina’s helicopter. Sign me up for what Hudacsko calls “the best fishing” in Alaska – or anywhere.

5 – 7PM: Back from your day of adventure? Hudacsko describes the typical routine. “Get changed, relax, come down and grab a drink, and exchange stories from the day. Then table up for dinner.” Hudacsko recommends super-fresh seafood like sushi, Copper River salmon, king crab legs, and the Halibut Plate. Freshly made pasta and top-grade steaks from a private ranch in Missouri also merited a mention.

9PM: After dinner, Tsaina’s historic bar is the place to be. With six rotating microbrews from the Alaskan Brewing Company on tap, there’s plenty of local flavor to enjoy. Also, the potential for free drinks. “This is a really nice setting,” Hudacsko says, “but if you climb up the center post in the room, across the ceiling beam, and down to the mountain climber hand holds to complete ten pull ups, we buy you beers.” I don’t trust my own arm strength, but I’d love to see someone else try.

Is it summer yet?

Our Tsaina Lodge – Valdez, AK Boutique opens Tuesday, May 14, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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May 14, 2013