I was in Alaska for 2 months during Jan, Feb and Mar of 1960 at the Cold Weather Ops and Ski Instructor's Course. I loved it and wanted to go back but never had the chance.
Yes, it is cold in the Winter, once it got down to -44F when I was there and out on a week-long survival ski patrol. But you have never seen a night sky like the ones in Alaska with the Northern Lights dancing all over. It can get so fascinating and beautiful that some people have been known to fall over as they lose their sense of balance while just looking up and being so focused on the entire scene.
The landscape and scenery can only be described as majestic. The people up there for the Summer Mountain Course had the same feelings - almost to a man wanted to go back.
I have lots of interesting tales to remember. Just one: I flew into Ft. Greely in an old C-47 - we had to make a couple of very low passes over the airfield to scare the caribou off. They would graze on the runway as the planes blew the snow off and exposed some grass or other vegetation. If you think snow scenes in Calif or Idaho are great you ain't seen nothing yet - Alaska beats them hands down.
I did a lot of hunting and fishing back then and when my assignment guy in the Pentagon asked me one day where I wanted to go, I said Alaska. He asked me why up there and I said because it had great hunting and great fishing. He reckoned that was the most honest answer he had heard for a long time - most guys wanted Fort So and So because "It would be good a for career development, blah, blah" and then when the assignment guy looked in their Personnel Records he'd see the guy's in-laws lived near-by or something.
Anyway, my assignments guy said he had no slots for any colonels with my specialty in Alaska. So he gave me a choice of Ft. Huachuca, Airizona (good hunting) or Panama Canal Zone (good fishing). I asked for Panama and he said he'd try to run it through my specialist branch which would normally have had me for a tour of duty. But my specialist branch (I was sent back to grad school in Nuclear Physics and they were supposed to have me for every other assignment) suspected, and rightfully so, that I was trying to get out of a tour with them which would normally have meant in the D.C. area which I hated. But my specialist branch not only said NO, but HELL NO, Kennedy is not slipping out of our clutches this time.
However, they had forgotten to look up at their board showing what slots were coming open. After saying No they found their only open one was in London, England. It happened to be as the Chief of Physics and Math Branch of the Army's European Research office. And about half a dozen other guys in the Pentagon had very brown noses hving tried to get their general's to go to bat for them and get that job. Anyway, in London I had a budget of millions of dollars to give away in research grants to European Universities, wore civilian clothes all the time, had my own English secretary in our center of London offices, traveled around Europe about 1/3 time and 2 trips back to the US each year, always stayed at very good civilian hotels, had a Hertz rent-a-car waiting for me at airports, continued ny own Physics research at Kings College, London about 1/3 time, the goodies list went on and on. Anyway my trying for Alaska ended up getting me just about the best job in the Army. I managed to stay there in London from 1974 to 1980 when I retired.
But I still almost wish it had been Alaska.
Go there you'll love it.