Monday, August 31, 2009

Colby to the Brooks Range

Colby is guiding a backpacking adventure in the Brooks Range for Arctic Wild. Here are some photos from Arrigetch Peaks in Gates of the Arctic National Park. Here is their website - amazing places they go to!
That powdered sugar dusting signals the termination of summer, "termination dust", better be ready for winter!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rain is clearing for Roland

Deb, Liz & Roland must be enjoying a beautiful morning up on Kesugi Ridge! The clouds are lifting and they should be getting fantastic views of the Alaska Range. It's probably chilly, a good morning for a hot breakfast and a great hike along the ridgeline. They planned on visiting Curry Ridge as well as Kesugi, using Ermine Lake as their base camp. I bet the blueberries are outrageous! They are close to Broad Pass, the low point in the Alaska Range where the highway and railroad traverse the range with ease. Broad Pass is famous as a fantastic blueberry-picking spot!

The above photo is from the North Side Web Cam, it's part of the NPS Air Quality Monitoring program. This is a long way from where Roland, Deb & Liz are, but it gives us an idea of what kind of weather they are having. The view is from the Wonder Lake Ranger Station, looking at the North Face of Denali (Wickersham Wall), with the McKinley Bar (River) in the distant foreground. There is a bit of the Park Road visible, winding by the ranger station. Here is the link to the webcam:
Here is the view from the TAT webcam here in Talkeetna.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Annual Backpacking Adventure

Deb, Liz and Roland have packed up and hit the road for Roland's annual Alaska visit. He loves backpacking here so much, he's become a fixture in Talkeetna. They are heading to Denali State Park where they will get up on Kesugi Ridge and enjoy the amazing flora and fauna of that area. They'll be in alpine tundra and get to pick blueberries! It's possible to see wildlife there, such as caribou, wolves, marmot, fox and bear. They plan to be back on Friday, I don't know if we'll have any reports from them during the week.
The weather has been alternating between really nice and really rainy; presently it's mostly cloudy with isolated showers. The sun has been peeking through, so we're hoping they'll get some good views on their hikes.
Have fun Roland!

(P.S. You can click on the photo for a larger version.)

Good weather held on...

Friday was another beautiful day in Talkeetna and across the region. The 12-day Mountaineering Course flew out of the Alaska Range on schedule. They had quite a fantastic experience, with two feet of snow during the course, and Glacier Olympics for their last day! I hope to have some photos to post here for you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Awesome Day in AK!

This is an OUTSTANDING day in the Alaska Range! "Bluebird", "Splitter", whatever you wish to call it - the sky is so incredibly blue and the mountains are striking! If it manages to stay like this, or even half-decent, then Larry, Dusty, Quinton, Mi, Rick & Marty on the 12-day Mountianeering Course will be flying out of the mountains tomorrow morning.
I'm not making any promises, but it is looking good for an on-schedule return.
Here's the link to the webcam:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good times!

Larry checked in with a report from the 12-day Mountaineering Course that has been enjoying the Eldridge Glacier as their home the last week. Hello to all, from Quinton, Mi, Rick & Marty, and of course from Larry & Dusty!
Today they hiked/climbed and did some rock climbing up to Exit Pass and got some great views, looking over to the Buckskin Glacier and beyond. They have moved camp once and plan to move again in a day or two. They've had lots of snow and rain. Today they it cleared off and they enjoyed the sun!
The weather forecast is non-committal, we'll see what happens when it is time for them to fly out. Tonight they'll enjoy some cold temps and stars!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Snowing on the Eldridge!

Larry & Dusty called around 1pm today with a report from the 12-day Mountaineering Course - Mi, Marty, Rick & Quinton are in good spirits and doing great! They got 6 inches of snow during the night and more is falling today.
They were scheduled to do crevasse rescue practice yesterday. Larry said they "did it all" and climbed a peak! Today they'll be doing lots of shoveling and doing more classes.
This is probably what it looks like out there today for them:It's 50 degrees and raining here in beautiful downtown Talkeetna.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Photos from the Last Mountaineering Course

This is a view of the peak they climbed, most likely a first ascent.

Descending the peak ascent.
A view up at the Moose's Tooth massif.
Here are some photos Todd Tumulo took while on the last AMS mountaineering course.

Flying Time!

Dusty does his "Vanna" impression with the Otter.

Larry Holmgren, Dusty Eroh and their students: Mi, Marty, Rick & Quinton just flew into the Alaska Range and landed on the Eldridge Glacier just about 15 minutes ago. They had a nice sunny day here in Talkeetna for packing, and a few puffy clouds on the horizon. They'll land, set up camp, make dinner and hit the hay. Tomorrow they'll start in on classes right away. For an idea of what they are up to, check out this link to our 12-day Mountaineering Course.

Pictured left to right are: Dusty, Mi, Rick, Marty, Quinton, Larry.
Thanks to Leighan for the photos!
Cheers, Julia

New Course Flying to Alaska Range

12-day Mountaineering Course packed today, with dappled sunlight and temps hitting 70. The forecast is looking good for a couple of days.

Here are some pics from today with Rick, Mi and Quinton packing up:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Back on time!

Todd, Nick, and Peter are back with their 6-Day mountaineering course students. Every one did great and they got a lot done in a new area. Ice climbing, peak ascent, moved camp, complete crevasse rescue and travel curriculum and a lot more. Pictures to follow soon.
Ciao, Colby

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Report from the Coffee Glacier

Todd Tumolo called in with a report from the 6-day Mountaineering Course. Everyone is doing well, they are on schedule with their courses. It's been raining, but they love where they are and getting lots done. Yesterday they did crevasse rescue training all day, today they will be moving camp. Tomorrow's plan is to do some climbing. It's raining in Talkeetna, so we'll see how the weather is when Saturday arrives.
Cheers, ~Julia

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2010 Schedule

The 2010 Schedule is now available to download from the AMS Website! Get your hot, fresh PDF here:


August Already!

August has arrived, very pleasant and sunny, temps in the 60s.
Yesterday our 6-day Mountaineering Course packed up, did some classes here and loaded up the planes for a flight to the Coffee Glacier in the Alaska Range. An awesome group! Nav, Eddie, Trent, Todd, Tracy, Jody, Jeff and Marybeth were all looking good and strong and ready for an intensive course. Their instructors, Todd Tumolo, Peter Anderson & Nick D'Alessio, are all very talented instructors and have lots of experience on Denali and other mountains in Alaska. The group has already made their wishes known that many of them hope to climb "The Great One", so there will be Denali-specific skills covered indepth. Today they are getting the basics down, walking around camp roped up and getting the hang of communication with teammates, safe strategies, etc. Mixed in with glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills will be course work on preparing meals, keeping snow melted for fresh water and taking care of oneself to keep properly hydrated and warm. As one of the participants commented as they were leaving for the airport, "It's going to be an eye-opener!" They'll keep developing new skills over the next few days, eventually they'll put it all together and be challenged with a climb!
Dusty caught some photos of them, we hope to have them posted soon.

Note to Spouses/Friends who may be helping these climbers with their post-course travel: stay in touch with us here at the AMS office via phone or email before Saturday. We'll keep you in the loop when return time comes and help make things smooth for you in case there are any delays. Our phone number is 907-733-1016 and email is ~ Thanks!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pictures from July 12-day Mountaineering Course

Check out these photos from the July 13-24 Mountaineering Course! AMS Instructor/Guide Leighan Falley celebrated her 29th birthday by "running the gauntlet" and being rewarded by cranberry chocolate chip pancakes with strawberry jam! It took three spatulas to flip each pancake, created by master chef Torin!

They held "olympics" with crevasse rescue relays! They held sled races (gladiator style) and did all sorts of fun stuff!

Enjoy these photos, thanks to the participants and Julia Corey Burns who sorted through them all.

~Julia (March Crocetto)

Packing for 6-day Mountaineering Course

Here's a fun pic from the July 12-day Mountaineering Course that took place on the Eldridge Glacier. (I think this is Torin in the photo). I'll post some more soon.

Todd Tumolo & Nick D'Alessio have been working on preparations for the August 6-day Mountaineering Course that starts on Monday. Peter Anderson arrived this morning and will dig in with them.

It's been a seemingly quiet week here at AMS, but we've been working hard behind the scenes to get the 2010 Schedule ready for publication. It's almost ready! We also take this time to evaluate everything from this season and make improvements for next season. Thanks to all of you who provided feedback for us and for our instructors. We'll be updating equipment lists, travel advice and so forth. We'll be sending out an email and putting updates here as soon as the schedule is complete. We have dates for nearly everything, so if you're burning with curiosity or want to make a request, drop us a line!

Cheers from Talkeetna,