Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Photo of the "Trolls" by Brian Okonek. Located in the Pika. The granite on these is really good for climbing.

Hey there. Today is another busy day here at AMS. I just heard from Josh Hoeschen, one of the instructors of the Advanced Mountaineering course. They are in the Pika Glacier, about 20 miles south of Denali Base camp. This area is also known as little switzerland. They have had great weather the last two days. They have already done tons of classes and were practicing whiteout navigation today. Sometimes in a whiteout where we don't have any terrain to give us any depth perception against the whiteness you actually cannot tell if you are walking up hill or down hill. It is hard to believe until you experience it. It is good to practice and experience whiteout navigation but sometimes it is actually best just to stop and dig in until the storm passes. Everyone is having a good time. Often, on these mountaineering courses students don't end up getting to bed until after midnight after being busy climbing and doing classes all day and then cooking a big dinner.

I heard from Melis that our friends from the "F" Team are doing well and camped at 11K. They were reportedly going to make a carry to 13.5K (around the windy corner) today.

I wouldn't be surprised if I hear from Melis later today. Although I'm not exactly sure how the weather is in there up high. Weather depending, Melis was planning on moving up to 14K. We'll see...



Top Photo: Couloir heading up to the camp on the ridge, Second Photo: Hunter, with the West Ridge forming the right hand skyline. Third Photo: Suzy (left) and Louise (right), just finished with their gear checks.

Greg Collins, Brian Skean, Suzy Rowan and Louise Radcliff
,

headed into base camp yesterday for the Mount Hunter Expedition. Greg was planning on moving to their first camp early this morning. All of our groups, weather they are courses, Denali Expeditions, glacier treks, film crews or private climbs get a gear check.
Greg
is particularly concerned with weight for this Hunter climb. They are going as light as is possible. They are still bringing fixed rope and equipment of that nature, but each climber is only bringing the essentials. Greg may have even left his iPod behind in base camp, and that is really saying something for those of you who know Greg. They have 14 days to work their way up and back down. Greg has guided Hunter, perhaps, more than anyone else. Greg summitted Denali, Hunter and Foraker all in 11 days once. We'll here from Greg soon I imagine. Please keep in mind that no news is good news.
















Joey and Matt
flew in yesterday for the Denali Prep/Kahiltna Dome climb. They are planning on spending a few days in Base camp reviewing skills and then heading down Heart Break Hill and up to the bottom of Ski Hill to their first camp. This climb shares the fist few camps as the climbers on the West Buttress. It really gives folks a good perspective of what it is going to take to climb Denali. This trip is a cross between a mountaineering course and a guided climb. From the Kahiltna Dome you can get really amazing views of Denali.






Top two photos: Mark and Larry check each and every item. Third Photo: Lunch packing for the expedition. The climbers pack their own lunch food with assistance from the guides. Fourth Photo: Larry about to bag up the expedition rations after a full day of food packing. The food then goes into a freezer or refrigerator until they are ready to fly. and the last photo: Nick D'Elesio shows some hussle while teaching the Review Skills Seminar yesterday for several of Mark's and Larry's team members.

And last but certainly not least, Mark Postle, Larry Holmgren and their merry band of climbers are at Talkeetna Air Taxi right now hoping to get a weather window to fly in this afternoon. TAT is currently not flying, but they are hopeful that it'll happen later. The nice thing about flying into base camp is, there is a base camp manager in there who is able to call in to the air taxis with weather updates.

That's it for the time being. I'll let u know if I hear from anyone else later.

rfg

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