Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June 29th- Denali Teams: RETURN!

AMS teams led by Josh Hoeschen(6/12),  Mike Hamill (6/15), and Mark Postle (6/14) have all returned back to Talkeetna at various times today relieved to have a great and safe trip up the West Buttress, a summit under their belt, and to rest and re-adjust to the "real world" with other colors besides snow. Congrats to everyone for their hard work, patience, and endurance! 

Tents drying and lots of unpacking happening.

AMS hq with fresh food and orange juice. 

AMS headquarters greeting Mike Hamill and crew.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

6/28 Custom Denali West Buttress with climber Marin: Depart!

AMS custom Denali departed this evening led by Colby Coombs and Pete Tapley. Marin is giving Denali another go after just spending 9 days at high camp waiting for a summit attempt. We wish her the best!!

AMS director and lead guide Colby Coombs, Marin, and Pete Tapley

...And their off again! Talkeetna Air Taxi safely shuttling climbers all day every day during the season. Photo by Pete Tapley

June 28th Multisport program: Launch!

AMS Mountaineering and Packrafting course led by Todd Tumolo and Michael Hutchins departed this afternoon via glacier landing air taxi to the Pika glacier for one big adventure! Todd and Michael are well-versed in the terrain and skills they need to accomplish the goal. 
They spent today and yesterday teaching mountaineering skills and the students practicing paddling in a packraft before setting out to challenge themselves in the Alaska Wilderness. They will start out on snow; winter camping and rock climbing in the Alaska Range. The group will proceed to go up and over a pass out of the Pika glacier, cross rocky moraine, hike in lush and flower dotted tundra, bushwhack down to the Tokositna river which connects to the Chulitna river and float back to Talkeetna. Go team go! 

AMS rockstar crew: L guide Michael Hutchins, Anthony Graves-McCleary, guide Todd Tumolo, Kenji Uemura, Ryan Perez, Emily Hren, Adam White, Scott Fritz.

AMS team practicing packrafting skills at a local slough that leads to the Talkeetna River. 

Glorious day to be packrafting the Talkeetna River

AMS headquarters packraft shakedown. Leaders Todd Tumolo and Michael Hutchins out front, with Emily following.

June 28 Denali Update: Success and Heading down!

AMS 6/15 Denali led by Mike Hamill, Jimmy Voorhis and Emma Lyddan, went for the top of Denali last night and successfully tagged it! Everyone is excited the weather improved to be able to accomplish this amazing feat. The conditions were in a cloudy whiteout, but windless and warm -ish.
AMS photo by T. Torkelson descending from the summit 

AMS director Colby Coombs on a 2015 Denali climb in snowy conditions like the teams last night had 

Today the three teams AMS 6/14 Denali: Duncan Team led by Mark Postle, Mike Gardner, Curtis Green and Simon Frez-Albrecht  and AMS 6/12 Denali led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba and the 6/15 Mike Hamill team will be descending down the West Buttress route on a beautiful clear day towards basecamp at 7,200'. we are excited to greet them here at the AMS HQ tomorrow mid morning!

AMS descending from the 16k ridge with heavy packs and amazing views. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27 AMS Update Summit and resting and more!

AMS 6/12 Denali led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba climbed to the summit of Denali at 20,310' Sunday the 26th and have enjoyed a leisurely, well deserved rest day at 17,200' high camp today.  We are sending a big congratulations to this hardworking team, we look forward to hearing more about their day upon their return to AMS HQ. 

Photo of climbers on the "diving board" at 17,200' high camp, photo by AMS guide and photographer: Josh Hoeschen

AMS 6/14 Denali: Duncan Team led by Mark Postle, Mike Gardner, Curtis Green and Simon Frez-Albrecht Have reached the top of Denali just moments ago! 

Denali Summit photo: from this May by: AMS guide and photographer: Josh Hoeschen

AMS 6/15 Denali led by Mike Hamill, Jimmy Voorhis and Emma Lyddan, are also going for the summit today.

We are super excited for both of these teams and will post more when we hear from them.

Summit Ridge of Denali on s clear day
Summit Ridge of Denali on a day when the wind is lightly picking up from the south.

The AMS Multi-Sport team spent the day gear checking, food packing, reviewing safety measures and with classes in Talkeetna, tomorrow they will do a practice run in their pack rafts to review operations and return to AMS HQ for a final pack up and one-way fly with Talkeetna Air Taxi into the Pika Glacier, Alaska Range.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 26 AMS Update Denali and Multisport Program

AMS 6/12 Denali led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba are making an attempt for the summit today.  We wish them the best of luck, weather and swift feet! We will update as we hear more...

Looking at the route up Denali Pass from High camp.
Climbing up near the top of Denali Pass
Summit photo of Denali, this shows the upper 1800' feet of the mountain.

AMS 6/14 Denali: Duncan Team led by Mark Postle, Mike Gardner, Curtis Green and Simon Frez-Albrecht have moved to 17,200' and are doing well, they have built camp and are snug in thier sleeping bags after a nice hot dinner and soup.  All are well.

AMS 6/15 Denali led by Mike Hamill, Jimmy Voorhis and Emma Lyddan report that the whole team seems to be doing well with the big move they just made today; they also moved to high camp at 17,200' and are settled into their tents after a good meal for the night.

AMS team from ealier this season, at the top of the fixed lines, 16,300' Photo, AMS guide: Dustin English 

AMS climbing on the ridge at aproximatly 16,800' on Denali's West Buttress
View of climbers on the 16 K ridgeline from an overhead aircraft.
Lookig down on 14,200' camp and at the Alaska Range from high camp.

At AMS HQ we are saying good bye for now to our recent Denali expedtions that have jsut returned and getting ready for our next Alaska Range program, the Multi Sport Mountaineering, Hiking (bushwacking) and Packrafting Course.  We start on the Pika Glacier with a drop off via ski plane, learn about moutnianeering and climb peaks if conditions permit then and climb up and over a techinical mountain pass, hike over trailess alpine tundra and brush and finally packraft back to Talkeetna.   It's the triple crown of Alaska self sufficient wilderness travel and we are thrilled to offer it this year.

 AMS gear being prepped. Photo: Todd Tumolo

Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 25 AMS Denali Update

AMS 6/12 Denali led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba had a fine rest day at 17,200' high camp today. It was a bit windy up high so they took advantage of the rest. This day is often filled with wall building, resting, more wall building, eating, taking a slow walk around camp, resting, drinking, reading and the guides do a lot of cooking and melting snow for drinking water too.  Lets hope for good weather tomorrow for this team.

Pano of the view from high camp, looking out to Mt. Foraker and the Alaska Range and Dnelai National Parklands beyond

Pano of high camp tent, walls and the view of the Denali and part of the route ahead.

AMS 6/14 Denali: Duncan Team led by Mark Postle, Mike Gardner, Curtis Green and Simon Frez-Albrecht rested at 14,200' today and are doing great. They report that the visiablity is low and it is snowing lightly, but winds are calm and it is realitily warm. They are hoping to move up tomorrow or as soon as weather permits. 

AMS 6/15 Denali led by Mike Hamill, Jimmy Voorhis and Emma Lyddan  Is on the same game plan as the 6/14 team and they are enjoying each others company up there.  All is going well.

Low visiability day in the Alaska Range
Camping in the clouds with a light snowfall at 16,200'

Maintaining camp, and makign sure all is well with the tents/ our homes: they are precious requirements up there.

DWB Returns, Emerson, Gowler, Holmgren

It has been a busy morning here at AMS.  Three teams were picked up from basecamp and returned to the green grass of Talkeetna! Gowler 6/5, Emerson 6/6, Holmgren 6/8.

Congratulations to the teams for their hard work!

 Welcome back!

Guide Larry Holmgren and Tomas

Tyler enjoying snacks

Lots of gear 

Lines are full

Friday, June 24, 2016

June 24th AMS Denali Update

Climbers leaving 17,200' and headed down the 16K ridge towards 14,200', Foraker in the background.
View from 17,200 camp, climbers on their way to 14,200'

AMS 6/5, Denali led by Rob Gowler and John Sykes are down at 14,200' camp and are loving the warmer temps and higher oxygen density.  Everyone is doing well. They plan to rest for several hours at 14,200' and then slowly make the way to Kahiltna Basecamp/ airstrip over night tonight, on Saturday morning for the first flight back to Talkeetna.

AMS 6/6 Denali: Tyler Armstrong led by Nate Emerson, Lhawang Dhondup and Dave Wade have climbed down to 14,200' camp everyone is doing well. They are tired from the past few days of climbing and are contiue to be really excited to have achived thier goals.  We expect to see them back in Talkeetna on Saturday morning.

AMS 6/8 Denali led by Larry Holmgren is also at 14,200' and they are moving very well today, as they did yesterday.  They may be in Talkeetna as soon as tomorrow morning.

Loaded up with gear for the descent, all gear that was double carried upwards, must be carried down and in one move
Denali's glorious midnight sun light near windy corner at about 12,800'

AMS 6/12 Denali led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba moved to 17,200' today, they will take a rest day tomorrow and hope for good weather soon afterwards to make thier summit attempt.
Moving up the fixed lines

AMS taking a well earned break at the top of the fixed lines, photo credit: Josh Hoeschen

Ascending the 16,000 ridge.

AMS 6/14 Denali: Duncan Team led by Mark Postle, Mike Gardner, Curtis Green and Simon Frez-Albrecht carried food fuel and equipment  to 16,400' today and are doing very well, this an exciting day, as teams gain altitude and move on steeper terrain. They hope to move to high camp at 17,200' tomorrow.

AMS 6/15 Denali led by Mike Hamill, Jimmy Voorhis and Emma Lyddan  carried food, fuel and equpment to 16,300' today and enjoyed the terrain and views today.  They plan to move up to 17,200'  tomorrow if weather is good.

Approaching the base of the fixed lines.

Putting in the cache at 16,400'

Custom Mountaineering Course Returns

Instructors Tim Hewette, Michael Hutchins and Thomas returned from the Pika Glacier today.  They reported that the weather was perfect and they were able to do lots.

They had fog today but Thomas' good luck brought the perfect window to return to Talkeetna!

Welcome back!
Tim, Thomas and Michael on return.