A sourdough is someone who has weathered some time in Alaska. For example, one’s sourdough status might be 1 year, which means they have survived a single year. The length of time one must live in Alaska to actually be considered a sourdough is debatable. Some argue that becoming a sourdough is more of an existential transformation, waking up one day to the epiphany that you no longer look at the state as a wide eyed tourist but rather as a piece of the landscape, though with no less enthusiasm. (See “my alaska“.)
It is controversial whether a lifelong Alaskan is in fact a sourdough, as one could argue that having been in Alaska their entire life they simply don’t know any better.