Thursday, April 29, 2010

Availability Update

LOTS happening here! We have six groups in the Alaska Range and more heading in. There is still room for you!

We have openings on these programs...

Denali West Buttress Expeditions:
May 10-30
June 21-11
July 4-24
Send us an email or give us a call for details.
Here is some info about signing up.

12-day Mountaineering Courses:
May 14-25 (several spaces)
July 12-23 (several spaces)
August 9-20 (one space!)
September 6-17 (several spaces)

6-day Mountaineering Courses:
June 4-9 (several spaces)
July 5-10 (several spaces)
August 2-7 (several spaces)
September 13-18 (several spaces)

Denali Prep/Kahiltna Dome Expedition:
June 3-12 (3 spaces)

Wilderness Hike
June 28 - July 4 (several spaces)
July 27 - August 2 (several spaces)

It's easy to sign up - click here for the scoop.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quick Update, April 28

Kevin Mahoney just called in from his camp in the upper West fork of the Ruth Glacier. Kevin and Don summitted Peak 11,300 last night. They spent one night in a tent on the route and then another one on the summit last night. He said they were wallowing in thigh deep snow today on the decent.

Melis, Joey, Steve, Larry and Jon (our first Denali Expedition) are at the bottom of ski hill. Assuming ther weather is good enough tomorrow they will most likely make a carry to the top of ski hill. We'll see how often Melis calls in with reports. All three of the climbers on the expedition have their own sat phones and her husband, Joey, is the assistant, so we might not here from them too often.

Very busy around here these days, so it's been a little hard to update lately.

Nate Opp and Seth Hobby are both in at the base of Huntington. Nate and Steve are in camp right now waiting for it to stop snowing so they can launch for the Harvard. Regardless of the weather , I'm sure they are having a good time. Nate and Seth are pure entertainment, as well as being sick climbers and guides.

all for now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Skiing, Huntington and Peak 11,300

This is a sweet shot that one of our guides, Seth Hobby, shot with his nice new camera. Right now we have several groups in this picture: Nate Opp with Steve Trafton, Harvard Route, Mount Huntington. Nick D'elessio, Dennis and Job Bogan are in the Ruth Gorge skiing. Dan Corn, Brian Skean and Alex Stroud are teaching the 12 day mountaineering course. Kevin Mahoney and Don McAllister are in the West Fork of the Ruth Glacier getting ready to climb peak 11,300.

Nick, Dennis and Job were ready to fly into the Ramparts for several days of skiing; they were delayed in Talkeetna for a couple of days, but made it into the Ruth Gorge a couple of days ago. Their main goal is to ski fresh powder. There is still plenty of snow on the ground here and more on the way most likely.

Ski photo, by Seth Hobby.

According to Dan Corn, who is leading our 12 day Mountaineering Course, it was -20 F. at about 7,000 feet last night. This photo is taken from just East of Denali Base camp, 12 day is at. This is a view of the North Buttress of Mount Hunter. From Base camp you can often see the seracs (big giant ice blocks) calve off and form impressive avalanche powder clouds. Assuming they have good weather they may get a chance to climb a peak that is directly accross from the N. Buttress of Hunter, so maybe we'll get some closer up views of this photo.

Special Opps (AKA, Nate Opp) sent me a message saying that they did a trip up to the approach couloir of the Harvard Route and said they might try to launch tomorrow if the weather still looks good. NAte and Steve were extremely psyched for this climb. Huntington is one of the coolest looking mountains anywhere in the world. The Harvard route is one of the more technical routes on this mountain and this mountain does not have any easy routes on it anyway. If the HArvard route has been guided we're not sure when or by whom. Seth Hobby is flying in in a few days to guide it as well. Luckily AMS has lots of qualified guides for this caliber of guiding. I believe they are both planning on 3 days on route.
Here's a photo that Brian McCullough took from one of the early ascents of the French ridge of Huntington. The prominent ridge that the photographer is staring at is the S.W. Ridge of Peak 11,300. Kevin and Don are planning on taking 2-3 days on route. This route involves lots of steep snow climbing with tricky steps of rock climbing.

Here's a photo I took last season of Huntington. The closest corniced ridge facing me is the French Ridge. Seldom climbed. I believe Nate Opp has the speed record for this route though. 25 hours. It normally takes several days. I chopped off part of the Harvard Route when I snapped the photo, but the right hand skyline is essentially it. Pretty impressive line, eh.

Melis and Joey are packing for our first Denali expedition of the season. They are scheduled to fly in on the 27th. Lots of stuff going on around AMS these days and it's about to get WAY busier.

That's all for now.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 12 day Mountaineering Course

Dan Corn is leading our first 12 day Course of the 2010 season. We have a 6 day Mountaineering course in the mountains right now as well. Dan Corn was here in Talkeetna as a baby on his mother's back 30 years ago and now he's leading Mountaineering Courses and guiding expeditions on Denali.

This crew of future alpinists was in, out and around AMS all morning. They were checking all of their equipment, learning a bunch of new knots and hitches. Practicing how to ascend out of a crevasse, getting all of their gear weighed and labelled for the flight in to the glacier.

Leighan Falley called in on the satellite phone from the Mountain House earlier this morning reporting that the weather was perfect, they were having a great time and eating lots of good food. They are just up glacier from where Larry Holmgren is leading our 6 day course.

AMS' medical training starts tomorrow for our guides. It is 3 days packed full of medical scenarios, discussions and lectures covering everything from wound care to altitude medicine. We have a cardiothoracic surgeon lecturing to us this year about a variety of topics. We'll post some photos from that in a few days.

It is getting quite busy around AMS. Our season is just about in full swing. In another week our First Denali expedition of the year will brief and start packing. It's super cool to be finally meeting all of the folks in person that we have been talking and emailing with all winter.

Here's a picture from our Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue Workshop from the other day. Here, Nick D'elesio does a demo of how to properly ascend a fixed rope. All of our climbers that we climb and travel with in the mountains learn how to ascend out of a crevasse on their own as well as pull another climber out with a mechanical advantage system using nothing but the tools and cordage they carry with them at all times. This workshop took place on the Matanuska Glacier.

See you all soon.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14th

Hey all, sorry for the lack of updates. It's been busy around here. We have a 6 day Mountaineering Course packing today as well as a custom Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Workshop. The April 12 day Mountaineering course starts packing tomorrow followed by some in-house guide's training. Nate and Bruce are at the base of the Moose's Tooth right now stomping out a runway for when the weather clears. It's snowing here in Talkeetna, but we're thinking there will be a weather window perhaps tonight or tomorrow.

Talk to you all soon.


Picture is taken by Brian Okonek of the South side of the Moose's Tooth where Ham and Eggs is. Sweet photo.