Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy New Year from the Staff at AMS

Another week's gone by here at AMS headquarters and the festivities continue. New Year's Eve in Talkeetna is quite entertaining with live music in the bars and fireworks up and down Main Street courtesy of whomever feels like lighting them. There is a party and bonfire at AMS, so if you're in the neighborhood stop by.

If you are interested in a Wilderness First Responder certification you better hurry as there are only 6 spaces left on the full course. The recerts are all filling quickly, as well. These courses always fill and we only offer it once per year. It is an excellent resource for anybody who spends time in the backcountry.

Here is the current availability for 2011:


Aconcagua Expeditions
January 10 - 28: (FULL)
February 10 - 28: (FULL)


Foraker - Sultana Expedition
April 27 - May 13: (FULL)

Denali - Upper West Rib
May 21 - June 10: 2
spaces

Denali - West Buttress Expeditions
April 25 - May 15: 6 spaces
May 2 - 22: 5 spaces
May 9 - 29: 5 spaces
May 16 - June 5: 3 spaces
May 23 - June 12:
(FULL)
May 30 - June 19: (FULL)
June 6 - 26: 1 space
June 13 - July 3: 6 spaces
June 20 - July 12:
1 space
June 27 - July 17: 5 spaces

Mountain Guide Course
April 15 - 26:
5 spaces

Advanced Mountaineering Course
May 6 - 17: 4 spaces

Denali Prep Course/Kahiltna Dome
June 5-14: 6 spaces

12 Day Mountaineering Courses
Several Dates: all have availability

Denali Photo Workshop
August 22-27: available

Wilderness First Responder Courses
WFR 70-Hour Course
March 5-13: 6 spaces
WFR 3-day Recert
March 19-21: 16 spaces
March 26-28: 14
spaces

Custom Courses
Custom Expeditions
A limited number of dates are still available for Denali, contact AMS for details.
Many other custom options are available - all over the Alaska Range!
Check out our Glacier Treks!

Here is the full
schedule for more options.
Call or email AMS if you have any questions!
907-733-1016
info@climbalaska.org
We're in the office Monday-Friday, 10 am - 5 pm Alaska Time.

We will be closed on
December 31 for New Year's Eve-- Party On!

~Blogger Laura

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Images from Dave and Kriss Buchwald's 2010 Denali Expedition with AMS

Fully loaded.
Mystery Guide on a lunch break.
After a while you start to look alike up there.
Summit Ridge looking toward Mount Foraker.

Dave and Kriss Buchwald on the summit.

Late December Availability

There is a bit of hustle and bustle around Talkeetna with the post office being the busiest place in town. I think we are all ready to unwind and spend time with friends and family. We will be closed tomorrow, December 24, Merry Christmas from the AMS staff.

Here is the current availability for 2011:


Aconcagua Expeditions
January 10 - 28: (FULL)
February 10 - 28: (FULL)


Foraker - Sultana Expedition
April 27 - May 13: (FULL)

Denali - Upper West Rib
May 21 - June 10: 2
spaces

Denali - West Buttress Expeditions
April 25 - May 15: 6 spaces
May 2 - 22: 5 spaces
May 9 - 29: 5 spaces
May 16 - June 5: 2 spaces
May 23 - June 12:
(FULL)
May 30 - June 19: (FULL)
June 6 - 26: 1 spaces
June 13 - July 3: 6 spaces
June 20 - July 12:
1 space
June 27 - July 17: 5 spaces

Mountain Guide Course
April 15 - 26:
5 spaces

Advanced Mountaineering Course
May 6 - 17: 4 spaces

Denali Prep Course/Kahiltna Dome
June 5-14: 6 spaces

12 Day Mountaineering Courses
Several Dates: all have availability

Denali Photo Workshop
August 22-27: available

Wilderness First Responder Courses
WFR 70-Hour Course
March 5-13: 8 spaces
WFR 3-day Recert
March 19-21: 16 spaces
March 26-28: 14
spaces

Custom Courses
Custom Expeditions
A limited number of dates are still available for Denali, contact AMS for details.
Many other custom options are available - all over the Alaska Range!
Check out our Glacier Treks!

Here is the full
schedule for more options.
Call or email AMS if you have any questions!
907-733-1016
info@climbalaska.org
We're in the office Monday-Friday, 10 am - 5 pm Alaska Time.
We will be closed in observance of Winter Holidays:
December 24 & December 31.

~Blogger Laura

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice


It is a beautiful sunset on the shortest day and longest night of the year. Each day henceforth will have more daylight---more time to climb! This is a view from the webcam at Talkeetna Air Taxi taken just one hour after the official time of solstice, 2:38 pm.

Blogger Laura

Lunar Eclipse and Solstice Celebration in Talkeetna









































There are some tired eyes here at AMS Headquarters after last night's viewing party down at the river.
We had clear skies and cold temperatures for watching the eclipse which started at the very reasonable hour of 9:30 PM. Bonfires were going and libations were passed. The temperature was -14 degrees.
Today at 2:38 PM Alaska Time is the actual solstice and we are marking it with a ski and then more parties this evening.

Happy Solstice!
Blogger Laura

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mid December Update

Greetings from the rocking, rolling and windy offices of Alaska Mountaineering School. We started the week with a 3.95 earthquake centered just 5 miles southwest of Talkeetna. The building really shook! Now we are on day 2 of a brutal windstorm. All of the beautiful snow came off the trees, our ski trails are blown over and the power went out.
Despite what Mother Nature is throwing at us, the fun continues with our annual Christmas Show opening this week–"Xmas and Other Four Letter Words," (it's not for the wee ones.) Next week is the Winter Solstice and there will be many parties to celebrate the longest night of the year.

Here is the current availability for 2011:

Aconcagua Expeditions
January 10 - 28: (FULL)
February 10 - 28:
one spot available

Foraker - Sultana Expedition
April 27 - May 13: (FULL)

Denali - Upper West Rib
May 21 - June 10:
3 spots

Denali - West Buttress Expeditions
April 25 - May 15: 6 spots
May 2 - 22: 5 spots
May 9 - 29: 5 spots
May 16 - June 5: 2 spots
May 23 - June 12:
(FULL)
May 30 - June 19: (FULL)
June 6 - 26: 1 spot
June 13 - July 3: 6 spots
June 20 - July 12:
1 spot
June 27 - July 17: 5 spots

Mountain Guide Course
April 15 - 26:
5 spots

Advanced Mountaineering Course
May 6 - 17: 4 spots

Denali Prep Course/Kahiltna Dome
June 5-14: 6 spots

12 Day Mountaineering Courses
Several Dates: all have availability

Denali Photo Workshop
August 22-27: available

Wilderness First Responder Courses
WFR 70-Hour Course
March 5-13: 10 spots
WFR 3-day Recert
March 19-21: 16 spots
March 26-28: 14
spots

Custom Courses
Custom Expeditions
A limited number of dates are still available for Denali, contact AMS for details.
Many other custom options are available - all over the Alaska Range!
Check out our Glacier Treks!

Here is the full
schedule for more options.
Call or email AMS if you have any questions!
907-733-1016
info@climbalaska.org
We're in the office Monday-Friday, 10 am - 5 pm Alaska Time.
We will be closed in observance of Winter Holidays:
December 24 & December 31.

~Blogger Laura

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

AMS Guide Runs Across Alaska for Wounded Warriors

Matt Montavon, came to us as an Intern in 2009. Proving himself quite capable, he went on to guide for us in 2010. Matt was one of three guides on a 12 Day Mountaineering Course for combat wounded veterans this past summer. From that experience, Matt is taking on a new challenge in 2011-- running 1100 miles across the state of Alaska to raise awareness for the recognition of combat wounded veterans and to help raise financial support for the Wounded Warriors Project. Some of those same vets are coming back this year for an attempt on Denali and Matt will be one of their guides...after he completes his run, that is.

For more information on his project and how you can help go to: endorphinchase.com

Run, Matt, Run!

2010 photos

Here are some photos from Mark Lancaster's 12 Day Mountaineering Course. We receive many great photos from our graduates and will post as many as we can. Thank you for your submissions.










Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Early December Update

We hope you are all enjoying this season of lights and festivities!

Talkeetna kicked of Winterfest with a bang! It was as busy as a summer day in town and the Talkeetna Bachelor Society raised over $12,000 for charity! Charities that benefited last year include: Jessica Stevens Foundation, Sunshine Community Health Center, Talkeetna Food Bank, Sunshine Transit, Talkeetna Free Box, Sports and Activities Scholarship @ Susitna Valley High School, Talkeetna Elementary School for books.
Way to go Bachelors & Wilderness Women!

Here is the current availability for 2011:

Aconcagua Expeditions
January 10 - 28: (FULL)
February 10 - 28:
two spots available

Foraker - Sultana Expedition
April 27 - May 13: (FULL)

Denali - Upper West Rib
May 21 - June 10:
3 spots

Denali - West Buttress Expeditions
April 25 - May 15: 6 spots
May 2 - 22: 6 spots
May 9 - 29: 5 spots
May 16 - June 5: 2 spots
May 23 - June 12:
(FULL)
May 30 - June 19: (FULL)
June 6 - 26: 1 spot
June 13 - July 3: 6 spots
June 20 - July 12:
1 spot
June 27 - July 17: 5 spots

Mountain Guide Course
April 15 - 26:
5 spots

Advanced Mountaineering Course
May 6 - 17: 5 spots

Denali Prep Course/Kahiltna Dome
June 5-14: 6 spots

12 Day Mountaineering Courses
Several Dates: all have availability

Denali Photo Workshop
August 22-27: available

Wilderness First Responder Courses
WFR 70-Hour Course
March 5-13: 10 spots
WFR 3-day Recert
March 19-21: 16 spots
March 26-28: 14
spots

Custom Courses
Custom Expeditions
A limited number of dates are still available for Denali, contact AMS for details.
Many other custom options are available - all over the Alaska Range!
Check out our Glacier Treks!

Here is the full
schedule for more options.
Call or email AMS if you have any questions!
907-733-1016
info@climbalaska.org
We're in the office Monday-Friday, 10 am - 5 pm Alaska Time.
We will be closed in observance of Winter Holidays:
December 24 & December 31.

~Blogger Julia & Blogger Laura

Monday, December 6, 2010

Press Release - NPS Comment Period Extended

Here is a quick update - keep reading older posts for more information.
~Blogger Julia

Denali National Park and Preserve News Release



December 6, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kris Fister (907) 683-9583

Comment Period Extended for Initial Scoping of Climbing Allocation for
Mount McKinley

The National Park Service is extending the public scoping period for the
Environmental Assessment regarding the allocation of climbing permits
between commercial guided climbing operators and independent climbers on
Mount McKinley through Monday,
December 13, 2010. The park planning website was undergoing server
maintenance and relocation which left the site inaccessible for several
days. The extension will ensure that the public has adequate time to
comment on the project.

Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dena, faxed
to (907) 683-9612, or mailed to the address below.

Superintendent
Denali National Park and Preserve
ATTN: Climbing EA
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755

The NPS encourages public participation through the National Environmental
Policy Act (commonly known as NEPA) process during which the public has two
opportunities to formally comment on the project – once during initial
project scoping and again following release of the environmental assessment
which is expected in spring 2011.

If you have questions about the project please contact Paula Homan, Project
Planning Lead, at (907) 683-6223 or Martha Armington, Project Lead, at
(907) 683-9529.

- NPS -


Experience Your America
The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American
people so that all may experience our heritage.

____________________________________________

Kris Fister
Public Affairs Officer
Denali National Park and Preserve
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755
(907) 683-9583
Kris_Fister@nps.gov

Deadline for NPS comments extended

NPS has extended the comment period to 12/13 midnight. Please write and show your support for mountain guiding on Denali, one of the toughest and most rewarding climbs in the mountain guiding world.

Letters can be sent to:

Paul Anderson,

Superintendent, Denali National Park and Preserve

P.O. Box 9

Denali Park, Alaska


Senator Lisa Murkowski

709 Hart Senate Building

Washington, D.C. 20510


Senator Mark Udall

Chairman, National Parks Subcommittee

Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources

Hart Office Building Suite SH-317

Washington, D.C. 20510


Mr. John Jarvis

Director , National Park Service

1849 C Street, NW.

Washington, DC 20240


Ms. Sue Masica

Regional Director

Alaska Regional Office, National Park Service

240 W. 5th Avenue

Anchorage, AK 99501


Ms. Jo Pendry

Chief, Commercial Services Program

National Park Service

1849 C Street, NW.

Washington, DC 20240

Sunday, December 5, 2010

CALL FOR COMMENTS TO NPS

Denali National Park and Preserve (DNP) is requesting comments regarding the current park plan that allows only 25% of total climber permits on Mount McKinley (Denali) be for guided climbers.

AMS kindly requests that you comment to DNP regarding this issue.

The comment deadline is Monday, December 6, 2010. (Update: Now Dec. 13th at midnight.)

The number of climbers on Denali has remained relatively static in the last ten years, yet the percentage of guided climbs has steadily increased.

Because interest in guided expeditions is increasing, DNP is working to determine how to accommodate this demand, while assuring that wilderness resource values, visitor experience, and other park resources are protected.

We believe all climbers deserve equal opportunity on Denali.

Please let Denali National Park know that you are in favor of guided expeditions.

Comments may be submitted to the NPS here: http://www.nps.gov/dena/parknews/mountain-allocation-public-comment.htm

The comment online feature does not appear to be working properly, so we suggest you comment to the project planners though the above web link.

Some comment points:

· Both guided and non-guided climbers deserve equal opportunity to climb Denali.

· Remove the 25% allocation of guided climbing permits on Denali. Denali National Park (DNP) mountain guiding companies are already regulated by their highly functional concession contracts.

· A guided climber has NEVER displaced individual climbers on Denali.

· Qualified climbers wishing to join a guided climb have been turned away from climbing Denali, because of the limits of the guiding companies DNP contracts. The 25% allocation of guided climber permits, further restricts guided climbers.

· Any regulation on Denali should regulate the West Buttress route only. Denali National Park’s planning efforts need to recognize that the area of greatest activity is only the West Buttress route of Denali. Not the other routes on the mountain.

Please contact AMS for more information regarding this topic or find out more from Denali National Park and Preserve at: http://www.nps.gov/dena/parknews/mountain-allocation-public-comment.htm


Thank you and have a great day,

Caitlin

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Schedule Update

Greetings from chilly Talkeetna!

Here is the current availability for 2011:

Aconcagua Expeditions
January 10 - 28: (FULL)
February 10 - 28:
two spots available

Foraker - Sultana Expedition
April 27 - May 13: (FULL)

Denali - Upper West Rib
May 21 - June 10:
3 spots

Denali - West Buttress Expeditions
April 25 - May 15: 6 spots
May 2 - 22: 6 spots
May 9 - 29: 4 spots
May 16 - June 5: 4 spots
May 23 - June 12:
(FULL)
May 30 - June 19: (FULL)
June 6 - 26: 2 spots
June 13 - July 3: 6 spots
June 20 - July 12:
1 spot
June 27 - July 17: 5 spots

Mountain Guide Course
April 15 - 26:
4 spots

Advanced Mountaineering Course
May 6 - 17: 5 spots

Denali Prep Course/Kahiltna Dome
June 5-14: 6 spots

12 Day Mountaineering Courses
Several Dates: all have availability

Denali Photo Workshop
August 22-27: available

Wilderness First Responder Courses
WFR 70-Hour Course
March 5-13: 12 spots
WFR 3-day Recert
March 19-21: 18 spots
March 26-28: 16
spots

Custom Courses
Custom Expeditions
A limited number of dates are still available for Denali, contact AMS for details.
Many other custom options are available - all over the Alaska Range!
Check out our Glacier Treks!

Here is the full
schedule for more options.
Call or email AMS if you have any questions!
907-733-1016
info@climbalaska.org
We're in the office Monday-Friday, 10 am - 5 pm Alaska Time.
We will be closed in observance of Winter Holidays:
December 24 & December 31.

~Blogger Julia

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mid-Winter Update

Busy day in the AMS Office! It's an all-girls day, dogs included.

Laura has the view to the West, processing enrollments.

Frannie is enjoying the spacious kitchen table, helping us with end of season reports.

Julia and Sienna have the East side, goofing off!

Here's what it's like outside ~ Winter Wonderland! The sun is rising just before 10 am and setting just after 3:30pm. We are losing about 4 minutes of daylight each day. If you want to get outside you have to time it right or ski by headlamp. Only 3 more weeks until Winter Solstice, when the days start getting longer!

We got our wish on Thanksgiving Day, the rain quit and the snow came down in big flakes. The power went out around 6:30pm and stayed out all night for most people in the area. A candle-lit evening!

Tomorrow we'll have an enrollment update for you.
Ciao for now,
~Blogger Julia

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Rain, rain, go away
the day before Thanksgiving Day!
We've got skiing
eating
drinking
...plans
already made.

The trails are slush,
they've turned to mush,
"like cream of wheat"
they say.
Bring us sun,
or better - snow,
'cause this rain
has got to go!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Love and be loved, may you be safe, warm and well-fed.
From the AMS Office Staff
~Caitlin, Colby, Julia, Laura, Rob & Frannie

The AMS Office will be closed November 25-28th.
We'll be back on Monday.

Schedule Update & Technical Difficulties

Greetings from slushy Talkeetna!
Alaska might be one of the few places where they cancel school on account of rain. Today is day three of school being closed due to treacherous road conditions. People and pets have been cooped up and starting to suffer from Cabin Fever! The weatherman is calling for snow tomorrow, but with slush and big puddles everywhere, folks are not too excited about that.

The ski trails were in great condition! Last Saturday, there was a "Wooden Ski" Classic that about a dozen community members participated in. Retro attire was encouraged! Wool sweaters, knickers, skirts, wooden skis, snowshoes and fur mittens were all seen that day. The group skied about 2 hours in fairly deep, fresh snow, making a long loop around town, along the River Trail and the Swamp Trail (by Twister Creek) starting and ending at the Talkeetna Roadhouse. The temp was 5 to 10 degrees above zero, the sun was out and it was beautiful.

So, here is the good news - enrollments are looking good!
We are receiving emails, faxes and phone calls every day for all sorts of programs.

Here is the current availability for 2011:

Aconcagua Expeditions
January 10 - 28: (FULL)
February 10 - 28:
two spots available

Foraker - Sultana Expedition
April 27 - May 13: (FULL)

Denali - Upper West Rib
May 21 - June 10:
3 spots

Denali - West Buttress Expeditions
April 25 - May 15: 6 spots
May 2 - 22: 6 spots
May 9 - 29: 4 spots
May 16 - June 5: 4 spots
May 23 - June 12:
1 spot
May 30 - June 19: (FULL)
June 6 - 26: 2 spots
June 13 - July 3: 6 spots
June 20 - July 12:
1 spot
June 27 - July 17: 5 spots

Mountain Guide Course
April 15 - 26:
4 spots

Advanced Mountaineering Course
May 6 - 17: 5 spots

Denali Prep Course/Kahiltna Dome
June 5-14: 6 spots

12 Day Mountaineering Courses
Several Dates: all have availability

Denali Photo Workshop
August 22-27: available

Wilderness First Responder Courses
WFR 70-Hour Course
March 5-13: 12 spots
WFR 3-day Recert
March 19-21: 18 spots
March 26-28: 16
spots

Custom Courses
Custom Expeditions
A limited number of dates are still available for Denali, contact AMS for details.
Many other custom options are available - all over the Alaska Range!
Check out our Glacier Treks!

Here is the full
schedule for more options.
Call or email AMS if you have any questions!
907-733-1016
info@climbalaska.org
We're in the office Monday-Friday, 10 am - 5 pm Alaska Time.
We will be closed in observance of Winter Holidays:
November 25 & 26, December 24, December 31
Happy Thanksgiving!

~Blogger Julia

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Aconcagua

We had another beautiful sunrise here in snowy Talkeetna!

Thanks to all of you who have responded to our recent email regarding Aconcagua and the West Rib Expeditions on Denali. Several of you pointed out a typo, thank you! Yes, you are quite right - the summit really is 22,834 feet above sea level (6,959 meters). We have corrected that and sent out another mailing today.

We do have two spaces available for our Aconcagua Expedition. The dates are February 10-28, 2011. The team meets with AMS senior guide Tom Torkelson in Mendoza.
Tom has been a professional guide all over the world, working with AMS since 2004. He now resides in Mendoza, coming to Alaska to guide on Denali for years, now acting as host and expedition leader for our Aconcagua teams. He is fluent in Spanish and knows Aconcagua like the back of his hand. This kind and professional senior guide is the person you want to be leading your expedition to the top of South America!
http://www.climbalaska.org/aconcagua.html

Contact our office if you have any questions about this expedition or any other!
Cheers,
~Blogger Julia

P.S. Check out this sunset! Taken from the TAT Webcam.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AMS Lends Film Crew Support to "Sarah Palin's Alaska"

The snow covered 'bump' mid-ground is Michio Point in early season. Michio Point is the northern most point of Mount Barrill (7,650ft) located in the Ruth Glacier. It is named for Michio Hoshino, a well known nature and wildlife photographer. Hoshino was killed by a grizzly bear in Russia in 1996. He regularly visited the Alaska Range with youth groups from Japan. This point is locally named in his remembrance.

Todd Palin, Willow Palin, guide Brian McCullough, Sarah Palin and AMS owner Colby Coombs on the set at AMS.

Over five millions viewers watched the first episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC Sunday evening. Alaska Mountaineering School provided technical film crew support and skills instruction in Talkeetna for the Palins' glacier trek.

The AMS headquarters became a film set for a day in July and one in August 2010. They filmed the family gearing up and getting ready for their Glacier Trek which went to Michio Point on the Ruth Glacier.

Please note that in August, when this program was filmed, it was late season and the snow was at its minimum exposing the older, bare ice. The glacier revealed the ash layer from the March 2009 eruption of Mount Redoubt. On Michio Point, the snow had completely melted, showing the bare rock that Palin climbed. The summit of Mount McKinley is ten miles northwest as the crow flies from this location.

AMS takes people to this location every year. Glacier Treks are great for adventurous travelers to explore Denali National Park & Preserve. Please contact us for more information, no previous climbing experience is necessary.

We look forward to climbing with you!