Monday, May 5, 2008
The amazing Mt. Russell story
At the airport getting ready to fly out in the Otter. The otter had just arrived back into the hands of TAT, fresh with auto pilot and other IFR instruments. Making it the most electronically decked out Otter in the world.
The Otter, Pre flight.
Our Mount Russell crew rolled in last night from the Range. They all looked good. All they wanted to do was go get some food. They had a good trip and did a great job. They climbed and worked their butts off. As suspected they did not see another sole out there anywhere.
They encountered all sorts of different weather in there. That area of the Range in known for it's constant wind. A lot of weather gets funneled through there. All the guides around here are jealous that they couldn't have been in there as well. The trip was a huge success. Those of you that are friends with Josh, Jordan and Kirk will get the full blow by blow account. I'm sure they will be talking about this climb for a long time to come, as they should. I'll give a brief account.
Day 1. Stormed in and couldn't fly in Talkeetna.
Day 2. landed in the Yentna Glacier. Base camp for Mount Russell. Tail ski for the Otter gets a little tweaked on landing and causes some tail damage to the Otter. S,N, J, J and K set up camp and go to bed.
Day 3. Good weather, go to High Camp. 9,700 feet.
Day 4. Weather/rest day
Day 5. They all climb to summit. Encounter wind and poor visibility conditions. As it's getting dark and worsening weather they decide to stop and hang out for 3-4 hours. They found some shelter on the lee side of a cornice on the ridge and hunkered down for a bit. Seth and Nate wanted to stay put until it got a bit lighter and had some better vis. Had they just been on a flat glacier they could have pushed on, but with the terrain and exposure they were dealing with they said, "nah". They "spooned up" and layed down on their packs and "chilled" out for the next 4 hours. Somehow Both Nate and Kirk were actually snoring. Kirk reportedly wanted to sleep in a bit more when light came. When I talked to them they said they loved the "shiver bivy". What an awesome experience! They were safe the entire time because of the decisions that they made. It is an incredibly successful trip. Climbers around town are talking about how cool of a trip it was. I'm super psyched and I wasn't even there.
This is known to them as "Shiver Bivy"
Cheers to a fun time.
These guys all said they'd be back for more. We already have been getting inquiries for next season Russell climbs. Seth and Nate might be busy.