Describe the land where Chris Mccandless disappears in Chapter 2.

Expert Answers info

Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write5,619 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

I would describe the area where McCandless disappeared and died as harsh, unforgiving, and beautiful. Denali National Park and Mount McKinley are amazing. The opening sentences of Krakauer's account tell readers that McCandless was found in the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. There was a river nearby as well, so water wasn't so much the issue for McCandless as food. Gallien tried to tell McCandless that he was under-equipped, but McCandless was stubborn and wouldn't listen. Gallien reiterated his point to Krakauer.

"The mosquitoes eat you alive. Most places, there aren’t a lot of animals to hunt. Livin’ in the bush isn’t no picnic.”

The specific area that McCandless intended to explore was along the Stampede Trail. It is not a well-marked or well-known trail. It wanders west from the Parks Highway for about forty miles, and then it more or less ends in the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. The trail itself isn't an easy trail either. Thawing permafrost and seasonal floods wreak havoc on it, and only the most trail worthy 4x4 should even attempt it. The area is also full of dangerous wildlife. Wolves, bears, caribou, moose, and other game frequent the area, and McCandless's rifle was far too small to do any real damage to those animals.

Further Reading:
check Approved by eNotes Editorial
Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write2,050 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Twenty-two year Chris McCandless disappeared in Alaska's Denali National Park. It is the home of one of the tallest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley, which towers above the earth at 20,320 feet.

In addition, there are about 600 miles of perpetually snow covered mountain ranges and glacial rivers. The bottom of the mountain is forest; there are many small lakes and ponds and a thriving wildlife population.

Though it is a beautiful place, it is also inherently dangerous, as Chris unfortunately discovers.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

vdearmas | Student

Cold hard winters of the wilderness and small chance of survival in such circumstances. The Stampede Trail is described as a fifty mile stretch between Mt. Healy and Mt. McKinley. 

The area itself is often frequented by moose hunters due to its proximity to local protected lands and every year, numerous hunters make their way to the bus. The rivers themselves are more than 75 foot crossings and extremely dangerous.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Unlock This Answer Now