Tuesday, May 23, 2017

AMS Denali West Buttress 5/18, Ronczkowski

Denali West Buttress 5/18-6/8 led by AMS guide Noah Ronczkowski  have arrived to 11,200' camp and are doing well. It is snowing currently on the mountain so they will hang tight in camp until the weather is better. Resting, hydrating, and camp chores will keep everyone busy. 

AMS photo by Tom Torkelson, view from 11,200' camp



Hamill and Girard Denali Team- RETURN to Talkeetna!


AMS 5/4-5/25 and AMS 5/7-5/28  with guides Kai Girard and Mike Hamill. The teams have arrived back to town and everyone is glad to get a shower and be back to fresh smelling summer time. They saw temperatures down to -38 at 14,200' camp. 
Nice work everyone! 

Lots of gear to unpack, but many hands make quick work of it

AMS guide Kai and team unloading the van

AMS guide Lexi 

AMS guide Mike Hamill and team re-organizing gear

Snow still on the bags and snowshoes, everyone quickly gets their gear out to dry during the break in weather

Monday, May 22, 2017

Team Update

AMS 5/4-5/25 and AMS 5/7-5/28 are healthy, safe and back at Kahiltna basecamp.  AMS guides Kai Girard and Mike Hamill came down from 14,200' yesterday due to weather and time constraints.  They should be back in the next couple of days, enjoying the mosquitos and burgers here in Talkeetna.  Can't wait to hear the stories from their trips!
The impressive North Buttress of Hunter from Kahiltna basecamp

AMS Denali updated- 5/14 Nate Opp

Denali West Buttress 5/14-6/04 (Nate Opp) checked in May 21st at 7:50pm.  They say "all is good" up there on the mountain.  They have reached 14,200' and are hunkered in for some snow. Now is the time to dive into that good book you never had time to read and manage camp: walls, etc. Everyone is doing well.



AMS kitchen set up, it is key to keep hydrated and well fed during the climb

AMS previous camp set up, with a Raven feather. They are smart birds that will easily make it up to 14 camp and dig up poorly buried food caches

Sunday, May 21, 2017

AMS Denali Update: Elliot Gaddy 5/11

Denali West Buttress 5/11-6/01 led by Elliot Gaddy  have arrived to 14,200'. They were planning on doing  some classes on fixed line ascension today in addition to prepping camp for a forecasted low pressure system coming into the area from the south west. Everyone is doing great and they are all looking forward to the warmer temps that the low pressure system will bring.  


AMS photo by T. Torkelson from 14k camp

AMS custom mountaineering course- 5/21, Holmgren


AMS custom mountaineering course led by Larry Holmgren flew into the Kahiltna today for six days to learn more about glacier travel and prepare for future Denali trip. These guys are good friends from way back and are looking forward to this experience together. 

AMS review of knots

AMS team photo before flying: Dan Lien, Larry Holmgren, John Gay

AMS mountaineering courses RETURN! Advanced and 6-day

AMS 6 day mountaineering course unpacking
Lots happening here at AMS headquarters. AMS advanced course led by John Sykes got picked up in the Ruth Gorge and Six day mountaineering course led by Wes Bunch from the Pika, have returned all in good spirits from an awesome time in the Alaska Range. Drying gear, eating watermelon and other goodies, re-connecting to the internet all commenced. Really fun and competent group that was fun to meet. 

One student on the Advanced course that had read about the Ruth Gorge and all of the great history of climbing that has occurred there amongst the rock walls that rise taller than Yosemite, was especially grateful to finally visit that special place. 

Coffee fueling everyone as Denali preparations and de-issuing gear is happening

Back to the green



AMS guide John Sykes taking advantage of garage space as the clouds move in

AMS operations Josh Hoeschen working the heavy duty sewing machine keeping gear in tip top shape

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Update From Our Teams in the Field

Denali West Buttress 5/4-5/25 led by AMS guide Kai Girard checked in this morning from 17,200'.  His report was that it was too windy up high to make a summit attempt and the temperature was -35˚F.  Sounds like a good day to stay in the sleeping bag!

Denali West Buttress 5/7-5/28 led by long-time AMS guide Mike Hamill checked in last night from 14,200'. They are hanging tight right now and watching the weather. Sounds like it is quite cold up there at the moment

Denali West Buttress 5/11-6/01 led by Elliot Gaddy cached around the corner yesterday.  They are looking good for a move to 14,200'.

Denali West Buttress 5/14-6/04 (Nate Opp) checked in moments ago.  They say "all is good" up there on the mountain.  They are at 11,200' and are acclimatizing by working high, sleeping low and consuming as much butter, bacon and cheese as possible.

Denali West Buttress 5/18-6/8 led by AMS guide Noah Ronczkowski said that they had great (and cold) travel conditions to 7,800' today.  They got into 7,800' around 11:00am so they are making excellent time.

Both the AMS 6 day Mountaineering Course and the AMS Advanced Mountaineering Course are prepared to fly back to Talkeetna tomorrow.  If the weather cooperates they should be back in the land of mosquitoes and green tomorrow afternoon.

AMS Guide Larry Holmgren is busy packing for a Custom 6 Day Mountaineering Course.  He'll be flying into the Alaska Range tomorrow
Looking up toward the fixed lines on Denali from 14,200'

Students using the skills they have learned in some breezy conditions

Friday, May 19, 2017

AMS All Team Update

Things are happening and here's and update:

All teams are doing well!

May 4 Denali, West Buttress Team led by Kai Girard is moving to high camp 17,200' today. This is a favorite day with awesome views and terrain. Tomorrow they may rest and be ready for a summit attempt as soon as Sunday.

May 7 Denali, West Buttress Team led by Michael Hamill are resting a 14,200' camp today. This is a well deserved rest and acclimatization day for this team.

May 10 Advanced Mountaineering Course led by John Sykes is cranking out the fun and learning in the Ruth Glacier area, this team of four climbers are exploring and climbing, today they were headed over to ice climb near the Moose's Tooth.

May 11 Denali, West Buttress Team led by Elliot Gaddy is camped at 11,200' camp, today they carried to Windy Corner 13,100' and tomorrow they plan to move to 14,200'.

May 14 Denali, West Buttress Team led by Nate Opp moved to 11,200' camp yesterday, they may carry to Windy Corner tomorrow.

May 16 Six Day Mountaineering Course led by Wes Bunch are having a great time and moved camp today.

May 18 Denali, West Buttress Team led by  Noah Ronczowski flew in to basecamp on schedule today. This is a super nice team, we enjoyed getting to know them for he past couple of days.


Previous AMS moving to high camp.

14,200' camp with the top of Mt. Hunter

Previous AMS team setting up camp at 14,200'

A good day at 11,200' camp from an 2011 AMS team!

AMS setting up tents at Basecamp 7,200' on the North East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. Photo: Amanda Erickson

AMS Denali West Buttress 5/18, Ronczkowski

AMS Guides Noah Ronczkowski, Curtis Green and Team are flying to basecamp to begin their climb.

They had a busy day beginning with a briefing at National Park Service.  Did some last minute shopping at the AMS Mountain Shop.  They spent most of their day reviewing Denali Skills, organizing and packing gear.  The team took pizza out to camp with  for dinner tonight.

We look forward to hearing from them!

Noah demonstrating fixed line


Guide Curtis Green, Seth, Bill, Liz, Matt, Maury, Guide Noah Ronczkowksi
They didn't want to forget the pizza!