Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gowler, Janes, Vernovage - Denali Update

I just heard from AMS Guide Rob Gowler.  He is with his team at 11,000' and they have set up their camp.

Our teams led by Mike Janes/ Beth Cleary and the IMG/AMS Greg Vernovage/ Dustin English are also at 11,000' and are on the same climbing schedule.

Rob said that the glacier conditions are the best he has seen in years, and the travel has been great for all of them.

He said everyone is doing great!

Quick update  AMS Guide Mike Janes just checked in all are happy and well!  All three teams plan to carry to Windy Corner tomorrow.

AMS climbers in the 11,000' camp.  View looking west to Kahiltna Dome.

3 Day Galcier Trek

Guide Josh Hoeschen and Mark
AMS Guide Josh Hoeschen departed today for a 3 day Glacier Trek on the Ruth Glacier with Mark.  Mark is excited to have an adventure and to learn new skills.  Josh returned from teaching a six day Mountaineering Course in the Eldridge yesterday, and is happy to be going back into the Alaska Range!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Denali June 27 - Gowler Update

AMS Guide Rob Gowler who is leading the the June 27 Expedition with fellow AMS guides Noah Roncowski and Sean Fallon, just sent us a text from Denali.

Today they carried food, fuel and gear to 10,000' on the Kahiltna Glacier. Tomorrow they will move to 11,000' and set up their camp.

He said that everyone is doing very well!

Chances are high that our June 25th Denali expeditions lead by Mike Janes / Beth Cleary and team IMG/AMS lead by Greg Vernovage / Dustin English are on the same schedule, since all of these teams flew into the moutnains on June 27.

This is a photo from last year of an AMS team at 10,200' on the Kahiltna Glacier.   

Wilderness Backpacking Hike

Guide Todd Tumolo and his team left for a 7 day hike of Kesusgi Ridge, Denali State Park.  After a busy morningof gear organizing and lunch packing, they were ready to drive off to the trail head.

Angelika, Ranier and Guide Todd Tumolo

Coady Update Denali West Buttress 6/18

Guide Melis Coady just called in from 14,200' camp.  They had quite a bit of snow last night so they are enjoying a rest day.  The team plans to move to high camp on Saturday.  Melis says the team is super strong and are having a great time!

Hoeshen Update Welcome back!

The weather over the Eldridge has improved and the Mountaineering Course is back in Talkeetna!  The team is here they are happy and healthy.  They are all smiles as they eat fresh fruit and sort through their gear.

John and Matt
Addy, John, Matt and Guide Adam
Earl, Ken and Bob

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Custom Climbing Team - with Dan Corn Returns

Guide Dan Corn and his team happy to have their shoes off!
AMS guide Dan Corn and his team flew into the Alaska Range on June 9 for an extended Mountaineering and Climbing Expedition.  They have had a full-on adventure.  They climbed snowy peaks, rock climbed, skied, traversed, "mossaineered", bushwacked and crossed many, many creeks.   They are stoked to be back in Talkeetna and to take off their shoes after hiking out of the Alaska Range, a rare and coveted journey.

Mountaineering Course - Hoeshen Update

Well, it looks like the weather is keeping the mountaineering course on the eldridge glacier for another night.  The forecast is for better weather tomorrow and sun for Saturday.

The team is fine, they have lots of food and they are having fun while they are waiting for the clouds to clear.

Coady 6/18 Denali Update

AMS Guide Melis Coady just called in.  They team is doing super well.

Already today they have completed their carry up the fixed lines to 16,300' and are now back in the 14,200' camp.  Over the past few days, they have experienced very light snow and good temperatures with light winds, which is great.  

They have been getting up early and getting ahead of the other climbers in the mornings, and their travelling conditions have been perfect.

Tomorrow they plan to get up early again and move to the 17,200' high camp. The weather looks good for them in the next few days.
This is a cropped photo of the 14,200' camp area, the camp is in the flat area in the center of the photo, the fixed lines are to the left, if you blow up this photo you can see the tracks of the fixed lines.  This photo is from a couple of years ago, but it looks pretty much the same today.

Clouds remain with the Mountaineering Course

The clouds remain over the Eldridge Glacier and the June Six Day Mountaineering Course.  The clouds almost broke up last night, but it not happen.  When it comes to airplanes and mountians it is always best to be on the side of safe flying so we are happy to wait.

The team is doing very well, they are eating, sleeping and packing down a runway for when the airplane arrives to scoop them up.  It is brighting up a bit here in Talkeetna and the pilots are out there watching the Alaska Range, we are hopful that today is The Day!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

6 (7...) day Mountaineering Course - Hoeshen

There are still cloud layers hanging in over the 6 Day Mountaineering Course on the Eldridge Glacier.  The planes are not yet able to get in there to pick up the group as of yet. Thought they are trying hard!

The pilots will launch until 8 pm tonight, so there are still a couple hours to get them tonight if it clears.   All of the pilots that are flying in the area are checking the Eldridge as they fly by in hopes the cloud layers lift.

Josh Hoeshen did call us earlier today to let us know everyone is doing well. We will keep you posted.

AMS Final 2012 Denali West Buttress of the Season launches

The AMS June 27 Denali Expedition is currently flying into the Kahiltna Glacier, the team is lead by AMS guides Rob Gowler, Noah Roncowski and Sean Fallon. This is a great group and they got a great jump photo!

This is AMS' final expedition of the 2012 Denali climbing season. We have many other mountaineering courses, wilderness hikes and workshops going on through September. Stay tuned for updates on this and other teams.

Guide Sean Fallon, Barry, Sue, Charles, Laura, Guide Rob Gowler, Mike, Elyse, and Guide Noah Ronczkowski

Intern Josh Murphey showed off his culinary skills with today's lunch

Coady June 18 Denali Update

Guide Melis Coady from our June 18 Denali expedition called in this afternoon from the 14,200' camp.  They are all happy and doing well.  If the weather is cooperative (they think it will be) they plan to carry up the fixed lines to 16,300' with some food and gear tomorrrow. After carrying to higher elevations they will return to the 14,200' camp to rest up before their move to high camp at 17,200'.  This carry acts as both an important step in acclimativing as well helps them lighten their backpack weight for the move day.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no way to get current photos of the team.  They are all on the mountain and we are in Talkeetna, the technology is not set up for any kind of internet connection on Denali.  It is a very remote area on the planet and just all communication to AMS is via satellites.  We know that you are interested in what they are seeing so we post photos from our collection from our previous expeditions, enjoy!  

Denali and the West Buttress Route, they are at Camp 3 now.

A previous 2012 AMS team at 14,200',  it's a stunning camp.
AMS climbers moving up the fixed lines. - Tomorrow's activity!

It is Kahiltna Basecamp FLY TIME!

Hooray! It is flyable To Basecamp!


Our teams were at the Talkeetna Airport this morning getting gear transferred from van to plane.   The IMG/AMS team lead by Greg Vernovage Dustin English and the AMS team lead by Mike Janes and Beth Cleary flew to base camp this morning to begin their Denali climb.

Guide Dustin English, Eric, Parker, Brenda, Deborah, Larry, Mark, Guide Greg Vernovage
AMS Guides Mike Janes and Beth Cleary with Sophie, Tyler, Tina, Ryan and Sergii

Our teams ready and patiently waiting to get into the planes. Sometimes the 'Talkeetna Hang' is part of the program...
AMS Guides Greg Vernovare, Dustin English and Mike Janes waiting to load up their gear, Brenda looking ready in the foreground.
AMS climbers Sophie, Ryan, Tina doing last minute suncreeen application with Sergii with Guide Beth Cleary at Talkeetna Air Taxi.

Mike Hamill's Team returned from base camp after a 3 day weather delay at base camp.  They did a good job patiently awaiting the weather out there on the glacier.  They are happy to be back in Talkeetna and are currently enjoying fresh fruit, green leaves and warmer temperatures.

The AMS June 11 Hamill Team quickly unloaded the van here at AMS.
Keith moving the gear to green, non-snowy ground.

The 6 Day Mountaineering Course remains on the Eldridge Glacier, the weather is still cloudy there.  Instructor Josh Hoeshen called in earlier today saying that is was not yet flyable and he will be in touch directly with the air taxi when it looks good.  We have our fingers crossed for clearing weather! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Afternoon Update

The weather in the Alaska Range remains socked in preventing planes from flying. There is still a chance for Hoeschen's 6 Day Mountaineering Course and Hamill's 6/11 expedition to get out this is getting brighter here in town and there are patches of blue sky. One thing you need plenty of when climbing Denali is patience.

Coady's 6/18 called in this morning. They made it to 14K last night and are resting today. It was cloudy there this morning and all are doing well.

In the meantime Vernovage's IMG climb helped unload the Costco order while Jane's 6/25 team spent the day doing skills.

Members of Gowler's 6/27 West Buttress team arrived are doing their Denali Skills Workshop today.

Mike Janes and Beth Cleary's crew on their first attempt to fly out yesterday evening.

Barry practices rope coiling in the Skills Workshop.

Sue concentrates on perfection.

Members of Vernovage's IMG climb practice the 'Talkeetna Hang' as they wait for the weather to allow them to fly.

Some of the climbers hanging around helped unload the Costco order this afternoon.
Teams coming up from Windy Corner and headed to 14K Camp.

Building the kitchen in the 14K camp.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge

Thought you might like some more photos of the mountaineering course the Wounded Warriors just returned from as well as our returning BBQ/target shooting party. Yesterday the group took our local Flag Stop train ride up to Hurricane Gulch and enjoyed more beautiful scenery. Some of them flew out today and the rest of the team heads out tomorrow. It was a great time and they could not have been more lucky if they tried. It is rainy and damp today.

12-Day Mountaineering Course Returns

Some happy but tired faces showed up today from the Tumolo/Larkin couse. Sounds like they had a fantastic time out there. The hike out option is really a fun one to do if you go into the Pika Glacier. Turns out it was also a wise decision since it is not currently flyable.

Some of the crew starts the unpacking.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snow, clouds, Team Hamill remain at base camp

The weather remains cloudy and a bit snowy at Kahiltna base camp.  The June 11 Denali Team will stay at base camp tonight and we will hope the weather clears and that we will see them in the morning!
They are all doing well and enjoying the comparativly easy living at 7,200'.

Quick Hamill Update

Mike Hamill's 6/11 Denali Expedition is safely at base camp. They are currently waiting there to fly back to Talkeetna.  It was snowing there this morning and they will have to wait until the weather clears in order to fly.  They are doing very well and comforably waiting, all is well!

Here is an older photo of what base camp looks like when it is snowy and unflyable. The planes in the mid ground flew in in nice weather but they are having to wait to depart, until the weather lifts a bit more.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

AMS HQ and Denali Updates

It is another glorious summer day here in Talkeetna!  We are having another fun and busy day with our teams coming and going. 


Mike Hamill's 6/11 Team is traveling to base camp tonight, we plan on seeing them in Talkeetna tomorrow morning.  They will be visiting with Melis Coady's 6/18 Team at their 11,000' camp to say hello and have a snack on their descent. The word from the mountain is that the night travel on the lower mountain is very good.


We had a group flying into the Pika Glacier, for a three day custom climbing expedition.  AMS Guide Dusty Eroh reviewed some skills before heading to the Talkeetna airport for an early afternoon flight.

Karen, Guide Dusty Eroh and Dave


We worked with several custom groups this week who are using experiences in the wilderness as a helpful step towards healing. These teams had their own professionals with their courses along with the AMS guides.

Today the custom Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge (CWVC) Rafting/Pack Raft and Mountaineering Course returned to Talkeetna.  It was a great time for all involoved.  AMS guides Tim HewetteAndrew "Tag" Tagalakas, Sean Fallon (river section), and Greg RunyanJohn Sykes and Dustin Horton (mountaineering section) worked hard to ensure that they all had a rewarding experience. Well done everyone. Here at AMS we are so honored to work with this fine group!

CWVC Pack Rafting on the Susitna River

CWVC traveling on the Glacier of the North Fork of the Coffee Glacier

Post trip clean up with the CWVC and their drying gear at the AMS HQ

Our custom Breathe In The Light Wilderness Hike returned to Talkeetna today as well.  The ladies were all smiling and happy as the unloaded gear.  They spent seven days of wonderful summer weather with guides Kirsten Kremer and Betsy Young in Denali State Park.  This is such a special group of people, we feel lucky to be part of their journey!

The women's team and their drying tents with some snazzy AMS caps!