Friday, April 24, 2015

12 DAy Mountaineering Course English

Today is a perfect day to begin our 12 Day Mountaineering Course.   Instructors Dustin English, Chelsea Bomba and team just departed for the airport.  The team has had a busy fun day so far.  They are anxious to get to the Ruth and begin their classes.  They were all smiles for their picture!

Taylor, Esther, Instructor Chelsea Bomba, Emily, Instructor Dustin English and Ted

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Staff Medical Protocal Refresher

The season is gearing up!

Three days of medical refresher taught by Lance Taysom for a few of our staff members for the 2015 season.

Today's snow piled up with multiple feet in the Alaska range and everything from hail to sun to snow flurries here in Talkeetna.

Check out the photos below...






Friday, April 3, 2015

Expedition Availability

There is still time to sign up to for an Expedition this season! 

We have assigned our lead guides for 2015 Denali West Buttress Expeditions.  Please keep in mind that a lot can happen in the next few months so we plan as best we can,  but can't absolutely guarantee that the assignments will remain as seen. All of our guides are qualified professionals in this field with many, many years of experience, several lead AMS guides have been guiding and climbing for 20 plus years. 
  
Denali, West Buttress, 21 days, $7400, 6 climbers:  2-3 guides

May 4 - May 24,      1 place available, lead guide: Nate Opp

May 8 - May 28,      FULL, Custom, lead guide: Josh Hoeschen

May 11 - May 31,    FULL, lead guide: Dustin English 

May 15 - June 4,     FULL, lead guide: Noah Ronczkowski

May 18 - June 7,     FULL, lead guide:  Larry Holmgren

May 25 - June 14,   FULL, lead guide: Todd Tumolo

May 26 - June 19,   FULL, Custom, lead guide: Colby Coombs

May 27 - June 16,   FULL, Custom, lead guide: Dustin Eroh

May 29 - June 18,   FULL, lead guide: Alex Stroud

June 1 - June 21,    FULL, lead guide: Mark Postle

June 9 - June 29,    FULL, lead guide: Elliot Gaddy

June 12 - July 2,     3 places available, lead guide: Mike Hamill


June 15 - July 7      4 places available, lead guide: Noah Ronczkowski


June 23 - July 13,   4 places available, lead guide: TBA


June 24 - July 14,   6 places available, lead guide: Melis Coady

June 25 - July 15,   3 places available, lead guide: Rob Gowler 

Denali, Full West Rib, 21 days, $8400, 4 climbers: 2 guides



June 3-23, 1 place available, lead guide: Josh Hoeschen




High Camp Walls

Climbing Season Begins

Another bright sunny day in Talkeetna!  We're excited to have instructors here packing for our Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue  Workshop.  The season has begun!  It is nice to have activity around here.

Instructor Karina Amortegui cutting cord

Instructor Travis McApline packing gear



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Expedition Availability Update


The Denali mountaineering season is coming up quickly, our first expedition launches in less than 60 days. We have just a few places open early season, but several of our late season trips are available. If you are interested in a 2015 Denali climb now is the time to register! 

AMS guides Melis Coady and Tim Hewette at the South Pole January 2015

We have assigned our lead guides for 2015 Denali West Buttress Expeditions.  Please keep in mind that a lot can happen in the next few months so we plan as best we can,  but can't absolutely guarantee that the assignments will remain as seen. All of our guides are qualified professionals in this field with many, many years of experience, several lead AMS guides have been guiding and climbing for 20 plus years. 
  
Denali, West Buttress, 21 days, $7400, 6 climbers:  2-3 guides

May 4 - May 24,      1 place available, lead guide: Nate Opp

May 8 - May 28,      FULL, Custom, lead guide: Josh Hoeschen

May 11 - May 31,    FULL, lead guide: Dustin English 

May 15 - June 4,     FULL, lead guide: Noah Ronczkowski

May 18 - June 7,     FULL, lead guide:  Larry Holmgren

May 25 - June 14,   FULL, lead guide: Todd Tumolo

May 26 - June 19,   FULL, Custom, lead guide: Colby Coombs

May 27 - June 16,   FULL, Custom, lead guide: Dustin Eroh

May 29 - June 18,   FULL, lead guide: Alex Stroud

June 1 - June 21,    FULL, lead guide: Mark Postle

June 9 - June 29,    FULL, lead guide: Elliot Gaddy

June 12 - July 2,     2 places available, lead guide: Mike Hamill


June 15 - July 7      4 places available, lead guide: Noah Ronczkowski


June 23 - July 13,   4 places available, lead guide: TBA


June 24 - July 14,   6 places available, lead guide: Melis Coady

June 25 - July 15,   3 places available, lead guide: Rob Gowler 

Denali, Full West Rib, 21 days, $8400, 4 climbers: 2 guides

June 3-23, 1 place available, lead guide: Josh Hoeschen

Aconcagua Returns

After some long flights back to the States the Wounded Veterans Challenge have safely returned from climbing Aconcagua, 22,841'. Gear is getting put away and research is being complied. The Traumatic Brain Injury participants better understand how their conditions are affected by altitude and the guys with prosthetics are tweaking their designs with new ideas. We learned a lot and looking forward to the next expeditions: including Mt Brooks on the north side of Denali National Park this August and an Alaska Range Mountaineering Course this June.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Denali Availability

The bright sunny days this week have provided great views of the Alaska Range this week.  There is a rumor that it may snow tomorrow!





We have assigned our lead guides for 2015 Denali West Buttress Expeditions.  Please keep in mind that a lot can happen in the next few months so we plan as best we can,  but can't absolutely guarantee that the assignments will remain as seen. All of our guides are qualifed  professionals in this field with many, many years of experience, several lead AMS guides have been guiding and climbing for 20 plus years. 
  
Denali, West Buttress, 21 days, $7400, 6 climbers:  2-3 guides

May 4 - May 24,           1 place available, lead guide: Larry Holmgren


May 8 - May 28,           FULL, lead guide: Josh Hoeschen


May 11 - May 31,         1 place available, lead guide: Dustin English 


May 15 - June 4,          1 place available, lead guide: Noah Ronczkowski


May 18 - June 7,           FULL, lead guide:  Dan Corn 


May 25 - June 14,         FULL, lead guide: Todd Tumolo

May 26 - June 19,         FULL: Custom, lead guide: Colby Coombs

May 27 - June 16,         FULL: Custom, lead guide: Dustin Eroh


May 29 - June 18,         FULL, lead guide: Alex Stroud


June 1 - June 21,          FULL, lead guide: Mark Postle

June 9 - June 29,          FULL lead guide: Elliot Gaddy

June 12 - July 2,           2 places availablelead guide: Mike Hamill


June 15 - July 7,           4 places available, lead guide: Noah Ronczkowski


June 23 - July 13,         4 places available, lead guide: Dan Corn


June 24 - July 14,         6 places available, lead guide: Melis Coady

June 25 - July 15,         2 places available, lead guide: Rob Gowler 

Denali, Full West Rib, 21 days, $8400, 4 climbers: 2 guides

June 3-23, 1 place available, lead guide: Josh Hoeschen

Foraker, Sultana Ridge, 21 days, $ 8400, 4 climbers: 2 guides
May 6 - 26, 4 places available, lead guide: TBA

Friday, February 20, 2015

CWVC Aconcagua, its not over until its over...

AMS Guide Colby Coombs called in tonight and CWVC - Anconcagua Team departed Plaza de Mulas, basecamp in less that ideal weather conditions for the 12 mile hike out to Confluencia camp today.

Instead of a speedy heat-dodging hike, as was the case on the approach, they left basecamp with their mountaineering boots, full outerwear on and had to break trail through fresh snow today.  It was yet another big day today for this team, and of course, they pulled through and were welcomed into Confluencia Camp this evening at about 8:30 PM, making this nearly a nine hour day of hiking in wind and wet snow.   These temperatures are prime for hypothermia and one has to be extra vigilant  in these conditions.  Colby called it "a pretty burley day"  which is climber slang for: hard work in bad weather; it was tough and required a lot of mental and pyhsicl strenght and commitment.

Although a tough day for our team today, we are glad that the mountain is getting some much needed precipitation. We are also thankful that they are not suck in a storm high on the mountain right now.   When climbing big mountains, if at all possible, you must take advantage of the good weather to move up in, and this team did just that.  Well played.  

We look forward to welcoming back tomorrow and all is still on schedule for their return into Mendoza tomorrow in the late afternoon.


Confluencia camp in the snow!
Plaz De Mulas in a snow storm, they most likely left camp in similar conditions.


On a better day, climbers and mules get ready to depart from  Plaza de Mulas base camp.

Mules carrying climbers loads on Aconcaguas Normal Route

Another good shot of mules carrying climbers gear  back from Aconcagua.







Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Congrats CWVC Team, another job well done.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Today at 2:00 PM Argentine time, CWVC - Aconcagua team members Brian and Dom and AMS guides Joey McBrayer and Augustine Karrierre reached the top of Aconcagua, 22,841 feet.

CWVC members Billy, Roland and guide Colby Coombs climbed to their high point of approximately 20,600', which is across a very long traverse (seen in photo below).  All team members are now back at White Rocks camp and everyone is in bed after eaten a small meal before crawling into their welcoming and cozy sleeping bags.  Tonight they will rest very well,  after the huge efforts everyone made today. Well done everyone.

The weather was very clear and cold as they started climbing in the dark hours of the early morning.  The traverse conditions consisted of challenging mix of rocks, hard-packed snow and ice to negotiate.

We can't wait to hear their stories and see their photos, I'm sure Billy has some amazing footage to share!

The shadow cast over the Andes Range by Aconcagua's summit from the rising sun. This is a treat they had today.

The summit day traverse trail is covered in snow, canaletta begins just out of sight of the trail near the triangular rock face.

Looking back at the traverse and the Andes.
This location is almost at the base of the canaletta, a steep section which requires great effort.

Climbers above the canaletta, on the summit ridge, which take so , so, so very long, everyone at this point is moving very slowly, 3-4 breaths for each step.

This climber sums it up! With view from the top of South America and the Western Hemisphere.  

In the next days, the plan is as follows:

Feb. 18, Tomorrow: Descend with gear back to Plaza de Mulas, reunite with Josh and guide Karina.

Feb. 19, Thursday: Rest, Eat, organize loads for mules and pack up of the hike out.

Feb. 20, Friday: Hike 12 miles from plaza de Mulas to Confluence Camp.

Feb. 21, Saturday: Hike 6 miles from  Confluencia camp to Horcones Valley road-head, transfer to Punta de Vacas to pick up baggage carried by mules and drive in van back to Mendoza.

We look forward to seeing this team back in Mendoza.  We are ready to take them out for a big Argentine steak dinner!







Monday, February 16, 2015

CWVC at High Camp

AMS Guide Colby Coombs with the very strong CWVC - Aconcagua called in at about 8 PM Mendoza, Argentina time.

The High Altitude Unit reached their high camp "White Rocks" at 19,400 feet, at 1:15PM today. They are are doing well and had a good afternoon of rest.  They continue to eat well and keep their spirits high.  It took them only 3 hours and 45 minutes to move up to high camp.

The weather is very good and if that remains, and if they are feeling good, they will make a summit attempt tomorrow.  If they decide to go for it - it will be slow and steady going, as is the norm, at these high altitudes.

I'm sure they are sleeping now and will be excited to hit the trail in the ealry morning. The temperatures are very cold up there and they will be bundled up in nearly all of their clothes and their big down parkas for most of the day tomorrow.

We are hoping that they have calm weather with minimal winds.  Aconcagua is famous for its viento blanco (white winds), and for good reason, the winds get very strong on the mountain often causing teams to wait for days and days for a summit attempt, we are hoping their luck stays with them for the morning!

All CWVC team members are in good spirits.

We are so proud to work with these exceptional people.

White Rocks campsite, 19,400' note: this photo shows snow, our team does not have any.

View of White Rocks camp and the view of the andes beyond = AWESOME.