Honoring the lost and hiking Gold Star Peak | Outdoor Explorer

A line of hikers ascend a ridge.
A group of hikers on a trip with the 98 Fund ascend Gold Star Peak. (Courtesy of the 98 Fund)

Memorial Day may be the traditional first day of summer, but veterans, their families and the loved ones left behind know it’s also about something much bigger—remembering those who lost their lives in service to the nation.

While some mark the day with ceremony, many others honor the lost by taking to mountains and trails. That includes the challenging journey up Gold Star Peak, where a moving memorial site is perched on the rocky top.

Gold Star Peak sits on a slightly angled ridgeline in the Chugach Range, adjacent to Mount POW MIA, west of Pioneer Peak and the Twin Peaks and easily spotted from Mat-Su. It’s a tough climb tackled each year by hundreds of military-connected Alaskans and visitors. Explore why doing something hard outside helps us mark military loss and find out how you can participate.

HOST: Amy Bushatz

Mark DeRocchi, Army veteran and president of The 98 Fund
Mike McCauley, Navy veteran and volunteer with The 98 Fund

The 98 Fund
Gold Star Peak, Inc

Ammon Swenson is Alaska Public Media’s Audio Media Content Producer. He was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He graduated from UAA in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and integrated media. He’s previously worked for KRUA radio, the Anchorage Press, and The Northern Light.

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