Monday, May 12, 2008

Update from Tork.

Here is a picture of Tom "Tork" Torkelson.

Anya, you'll be happy to know that I told Tom to tell Christian you loved him and all that. I heard him yell, "Hey Christian, your girlfriend loves you!"

Tork called from Kahiltna pass. The said the weather was a little "mealy" today and they had to go wand to wand down to their cache. Mealy means that it is not splitter :-). It sounds like they were experiencing a little bit of what we call, life inside of a pingpong ball (white out). When traveling during a whiteout you often can not tell if your are walking uphill or down hill and you can't see more than 5 feet in front of you. This is why Tom had left so many wands between their camp at 11K and the cache at Kahiltna Pass. When ever you separate yourself from supplies that you may need at another camp you have to assure that you'll be able to get to it in mealy conditions. With wands (the little 3 ' tomatoe stakes) placed every so often you can follow them in a whiteout. Then, when you're returning back to your camp you can pull the wands you had left behind so you'll have them for the next time you make a cache and need to leave a "bread crumb trail".

I asked Tork how everyone was doing and he said he was impressed with the crew. Everyone is doing great, and I'm not just saying that. Physically they're all doing good and mentally as well. Depending on the weather tomorrow they may either take a rest day or make a front carry to the Windy Corner vicinity. I bet they had a big all you can eat pancake breakfast this morning and then took a stroll down to pick up the cache.


Anya said...

HAHA. Thank you!
I hope this mealy weather clears for our boys. I cannot imagine being in a situation like that. I know they all know what they are doing though, and I am sure we'll get some great stories.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

The great white out!!! Is that what you call a baked Alaskan dessert? What happened to the color!! Wishing the crew blue skies soon!! The crew will climb mountains for their Mother's to celebrate!! Thanks Christian for the Mother's Day card from Alaska.
I bet Christian requested chocolate chips in his pancakes!!
Keep up the team work! Thanks for the updates...
Yes, it's Christian's MOM..Susan

Anya said...

ok, so I have a question that I thought I knew the answer to but now I am confusing myself.
The itinerary Christian gave me shows that they will do a CARRY to 13,500 one day, a MOVE to 14,200 the next day and a BACK CARRY to 13,500 on the next day. Why do they do a carry back to 13,500 after the move to 14,200.
Whst exactly to MOVE and CARRY mean in the hiking terminology?
Im thinking it means that they pull their sleds to a 13,500 and go back to 11,000 to camp for the night so that the next day is easier for them to hike back up to 13,500, grab the sleds and keep climbing higher.

If you get a chance to explain this to me I'd appreciate it. No worries if not! :)

Anonymous said...


see you soon

Anonymous said...

the move to 14K is a difficult one. They will want to do it as light as possible. So they will not pick up any extra weight from the cache that they put in around the corner. The will walk right on by that cache and pick it up the next day. It makes for a nice rest day/acclimatization day from 14K to get the cache at 13.5K. A move is when they move camp. and a carry is when they put supplies ahead of them and a back carry is when they get supplies behind or below them.

Anya said...

Re: comment from an anonymous blogger

You make it sound so simple. I suppose it is though, it does make sense. Thank you for explaining that to me.

Anonymous said...

Tell Barb and Bob that Susan and Matt are 100% certain they'll summit and bag this bad boy.

Anonymous said...

Sending Christian a warm and sunny hello from Auntie Annie. Yes, I am keeping an eye on the updates. I remember those "white out" days in Idaho, but I certainly was not climbing a mountain! Take care~

Ron S said...

Hi Bob & Barb. Is this the right blog? Hope you guys are having fun and make summit. Give us all an update and pictures. Ron & elizabeth