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 firstname.lastname@example.org ~ Thanks!