Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mount Russell

Here is a view of the North Ridge of Mt. Russell. Our boys probably camped just out of view in the foreground. And will most likely be following in these footstep up towards the summit tomorrow morning.

Seth Hobby and Nate Opp just phoned in from a sat phone from their high camp. Seth said the weather was perfect. Zero wind and stable weather was Seth's forecast for the near future. He said the snow was super deep getting up to the pass. A wallowfest! The snow at the elevation they are at now (8,800') is much easier for traveling.

Seth, Nate, Kirk, Jordan and Josh were delayed by one day here in Talkeetna waiting for the weather to get good enough to fly in. These guys were incredibly amped to get in and climb. Kirk was especially enamored by the local Talkeetna flavor. He said his friends back home would never believe him, if he tried to describe life in Talkeetna. It's a pretty cool place to say the least.

Check out the link on the side of the blog page for an up to date web cam image of the weather in the range.

Maybe they'll give us a call tomorrow with an update, who knows. Wish'em luck.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Welcome to the 2008 AMS season!

It's still pretty wintery up here in Talkeetna. Our first 12 day mountaineering course of the season is heading into the Alaska Range Friday, April 18, led by Melis Coady, Tim Hewette, Jeff Witt and Matt Lee. We have a Custom climb to the remote Mt. Russell coming up on the 27th of April. Soon after that climb departs our first Denali trip of the season starts packing and we won't slow down for the next few months.

We just finished our in House Medical Protocols Review and guides training and are ramping up for the beginning of the season. We're excited about the upcoming season. We have a lot of our older guides coming back for more and are bringing on several new guides. We have some new guides in training as part of our apprenticeship program. We look forward to seeing and meeting everybody that we have been corresponding with all winter.

Tell all of your friends and family about our blog and we'll do our best to keep it updated.

AMS guides practice rewarming a frostbitten foot with an improvised foot bath. They practiced emergency procedures for several days using only equipment they bring on courses and expeditions. Both of the medical instructors for this particular seminar stretched their imagination for days to come up with challenging scenarios to throw at the guides. This improvised foot bath may be the first of its kind and will most likely become curriculum for wilderness medicine classes worldwide.

Here we are getting a refresher with a Gamow bag and O2. The guide inside the bag is about 800 feet below sea level in this picture, according to his altimeter watch. AMS guides are known for being some of the most professional and highest trained guides on the mountain.

Here a guide practices giving an injection of Sodium Chloride. On all of AMS's high altitude expeditions guide's carry and have protocols to administer Dexamethazone as well as Epinepherine. Our backcountry medical direction protocols and medication standing orders were written by Lance Taysom, RN, EMT-P and AMS's sponsoring Physician and world famous high altitude medical expert Dr. Peter Hackett MD.

Here we're getting a briefing by NPS on this years guidelines with regards to working with the "Lama" helicopter. Guides work with National Park Service to help them with rescues on the mountain. If NPS needs extra personnel to help out with a rescue they call on the guides first. This "Lama" rescue helicopter has done rescues and overflights of and on the summit of Denali.

Discussing "short haul" tactics.

Here a guide is pretending to have heart trouble on the fixed lines.

Here's what one of our senior guides had to say about our medical training:

"Hey, just wanted to comment on the [MPR].

I thought it was the most professional recert I've done.
It was personable to AMS and relevant to what we do- couldn't have been

I'm humbled to be a part of your Company and hope it continues to stay its
course as the most professional Denali Concessionaire." -Kirby [Senden]

Cheers to a good season,

Colby Coombs and Caitlin Palmer, AMS' Directors, Rob, Julia and everybody else here at AMS world headquarters.