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Mon Feb 8, 2021, 05:02 AM

Renaissance man Shawn Lyons, who wrote the book on Alaska hiking, dies at 66

Shawn Lyons — poet, classical guitarist, teacher, historian, restauranteur and an adventurous hiker who left his footprints across the Chugach Mountains and far, far beyond — died suddenly Tuesday at an Anchorage hospital. He was 66.

Lyons was the unique center of a wildly diverse Venn diagram. He wrote the multi-volume “Walk-About Guide to Alaska,” was a board member of the Alaska Huts Association, played classical guitar nightly at a Mediterranean restaurant, taught music and English at UAA, wrote poetry and was a regular on a podcast that discussed philosophy and psychology.

He was a nine-time winner of the 105-mile snowshoe division of the original Iditaski wilderness race, a man known by friends as the Energizer Bunny for his endurance — he could go for miles and miles with no more than a pocket full of hard candy to sustain him.

He wrote a regular column about hiking for the Daily News for many years, and he is believed to be the first person to hike the 12 tallest peaks in the Chugach Front Range in a single push, something he did in 27.5 hours in 1990.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2021/02/06/renaissance-man-shawn-lyons-who-wrote-the-book-on-alaska-hiking-dies-at-66/


Shawn Lyons plays classical guitar in the Villa Nova Restaurant. (Bill Roth / ADN archives)

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