Sunday, June 30, 2013

West Buttress Update

IMG/AMS 6/25 Expedition just checked in. AMS Guide Travis McAlpine said they got in to camp this morning after doing a single carry from 11,000 feet. He said the conditions were good and they will probably rest tomorrow before moving gear up to the 16K ridge.

Travis also reported that Gowler's 6/27 expedition is at 11,000 camp. Also, Dusty sends birthday wishes to Rachel.

Below are some photographs from prior expeditions taken in the last couple of weeks.

11K camp taken last week by AMS Guide, Mike Janes.

Climbers on Motorcycle Hill with 11,000-foot camp in background. (photo: Mike Janes, 2009)

Climbers taking a break on the 'polo field' 12,700', Mike Janes 2013

Motorcycle Hill; the route when ascending from the 11,000 foot camp. (photo: Dirk Bellemans, 2013)

Panorama of 14,000-foot camp (photo: Dirk Bellemans, 2013)
14 K camp with lenticular clouds over Mount Foraker, taken last week by Mike Janes.

Muldrow Centennial Update

AMS Guide Dustin English just phoned at 10:45 AM. The Muldrow Centennial team reached the base of the great ice fall at 8,100 feet. They left yesterday's camp at 12,000 feet, at midnight and hiked through the night. They said the glacier "froze good" last night. They are going to catch some sleep and get up at midnight tonight; they hope to make it to McGonagall Pass.

Once they reach McGonagall Pass they will need to reorganize their gear for the hike across the tundra. From there it is about a 22 mile hike including two river crossings and then they will be on the Denali Park road. They will catch a bus for the 85 mile ride to the Park's entrance.  The weather and river conditions are among the factors in determining their exact return day; but we estimate two to three days.
The Ice Fall is marked at the bottom of this image.

A photo of the Harper Icefall. Karstens Ridge is the left hand ridge. The North Summit is on the right. Photo: Jeff Pfuleger

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vernovage 6/25 Denali WB

AMS Guide Greg Vernovage checked in from 11K camp today.  They are taking a rest day and plan on move 14,200 tomorrow.  The team is all doing well and enjoying fantastic weather.

Janes 6/14 Returns

AMS Guides Mike Janes, Alex Stroud and team returned to Talkeetna today!  They are very busy sorting gear and enjoying fresh fruit and orange juice.  The team is happy to be back to the summer weather!

The clotheslines are full!

Gerti and Iglin

Friday, June 28, 2013

Centennial Muldrow Team Summits

AMS Guide Dustin English just called from the summit.  The team is enjoying the view and their success before heading back to high camp on the Upper Harper Glacier.  Congratulations to the team for a job well done!  They are all happy and healthy.

Both Teams

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vernovage AMS/IMG Team

AMS/ IMG Guide Greg Vernovage phoned in and all is well.

Last night the team was at the 7,800' camp and tonight they will carry extra food, fuel and equipment higher on the mountain.

They are enjoying traveling during the the cold nights and are having a great time and enjoying some amazing food prepared by their other AMS guide, Travis McAlpine (he's a chef in his past life), lucky them. :-)

Centennial Muldrow Team Update

The Muldrow Team just phoned in!

This is an exciting day for this team.  Today they established themselves at their high camp on the Upper Harper Glacier, at 18,200'. 

Tomorrow they will rest or may even make a summit attempt, depending on how everyone is feeling.

The team has done a wonderful job and we are very happy for this very special team!

Gowler 6/27 Denali West Buttress

AMS Guides Rob Gowler, Dusty Eroh, Intern Becky King and team are on their way to Kahiltna Base Camp.  This is our last expedition of the season. They arrived here organized and ready to climb.   They had a noon flight scheduled,  which will give them time to review skills and relax before they begin.  This team will be traveling on a night schedule.

Guide Rob Gowler, Curtis, Greg, Guide Dusty Eroh, Dave, Intern Becky King, Devon, Kera and Kent

Quote of the Week

Mike a recent Denali team member.

"AMS was by far the best outfit on the Mountain.  Not only did they know everyone on the Mountain but other guides would ask them for advice. Denali is an extreme environment and no place to cut corners.  AMS sets the bar high and other companies should try and model themselves as such!"

Janes 6/17 Summit

AMS Guide Mike Janes checked in last night from high camp.  They had just returned from their summit.  The team was tired but happy!  They are resting today and weather permitting will start down tonight.
Climbers on Summit Ridge

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Around AMS Today

Hamill's team spent a couple of hours sorting through their gear. They've all gone off to take showers and are meeting for dinner later on this evening.

Colby took advantage of all the guides in town for a little project...bring in a 500 gallon fuel tank and take out the old 300 gallon tank. It is hard to imagine that we will need heating fuel again as it 81 degrees here today and we have 20 hours of daylight.

Denali Updates

Hammil's 6/10 Expedition is loading onto a plane at Kahiltna Base Camp right now; they should be back in the land of green in about one hour.

Jane's 6/14 called in this morning from High Camp at 17K. They had a snowy and blowy day yesterday getting from 14 to 17K camp. The weather looks to be improving and they will make a summit attempt tomorrow. All are tired from the hard day yesterday so a rest day is well earned.

IMG team flew into base camp this morning with guides Greg Vernovage and Travis McAlpine.
A bluebird day this morning. Nate, Chirs, Richard, Gary Jorge, Greg and Travis

Monday, June 24, 2013

IMG/AMS 6/25 Expedition

Guides Greg Vernovage and Travis McAlpine are guiding IMG's 6/25 Expedition. Today they had their NPS briefing, practiced some rope skills and had lunch. They will fly tomorrow at 8:00 AM, weather dependent.
Full plates and happy stomachs.

6/14 Janes and Muldrow Update

The Muldrow Centennial Climbers are installed at a camp near Browne's Tower. If the weather permits, their plan is to carry gear up higher, rest a day and then move again. Browne's Tower is at 14,094 feet.

Here's the text from AMS Guide Dustin English:


 Mike Jane's 6/14 expedition just sent us a text. They moved to high camp (17K) arriving there at 9:30 AM and all is well.
17K Camp taken from an airplane.

A panorama picture of 17k camp with a cloud cap no the summit.

Hamill 6/10 Update

Hamill 6/10  is at 14K waiting for weather to improve before descending. It is snowing lightly. They have their tents set up and plenty of food. Due to their previous excellent weather, they are well ahead of schedule so they have time to wait for better conditions to descend. Everybody is happy and enjoying their rest day.

We are awaiting updates from the other teams and will post them when we hear.
A picture of 14K camp.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hamill's Team Summited

Hamill's 6/10 expedition summited yesterday, congratulations! After summitting they returned to their 17K camp. Today they are descending to the 14K camp. Weather dependent, they could fly out tomorrow or the next day.
Denali's summit from the air.

Denali's Routes

We currently have teams at Camps 3 (14K) and Camp 4 (17K).
We also have a team on the north side Muldrow Route below Browne's Tower. We should have updates on teams later today.

West Buttress Route on Denali
Topo map of the West Buttress Route

These images of the Muldrow Glacier route are courtesy of Los Alamos Mountaineers and the following photographers: Climbers & Photographers: Robert Lehman, Doug Pape, Eric Chalumeau, Jason Merrill, Chuck Hudson.
Ascending the ramp onto Karstens Ridge
Looking up at Karstens Ridge on the Muldrow Route
Browne's Tower at 14K

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Janes 6/14 West Buttress

AMS Guide Mike Janes just checked in, today they carried to 16,400'.  They plan to take a rest day and acclimatization day at 14,200' tomorrow.  Weather permitting they will move to high camp on Monday.  All is well with the group and they are moving well on the mountain.
14,200' camp, on Denali's West Buttress, AMS climbers returning from making a carry to 16,200'

Moto Quest with AMS Guide Nick D'Alessio

There is never a dull moment around AMS HQ, today, AMS guide Nick D'Alessio is providing safety and logistics for a MotoQuest Film.  They will fly into the Alaska Range to do an overnight film shoot, these guys are in for a an awesome experience!

Charley, Guide Nick D'Alessio and Phil at AMS HQ

Muldrow Centennial Climb

The Muldrow team is doing fine. They have installed camp on the ridge at 12,100 feet.  They have installed their fixed line's up to Brown's Tower and are moving well.  The plan to carry up tomorrow.  They are really enjoying this sunny weather!

Most of the Muldrow Route

Corn 6/5 Returns!

AMS guide Dan Corn returned with his team.  They had a great time.  The group quickly got to work sorting gear.  Our clothesline are full of gear now. 


Bunch 6/3 Denali Returns!

AMS guides  Wes Bunch, Beth Cleary  and team returned to summery Talkeetna!  They are happy to be back!  They are busy sorting gear and enjoying orange juice and watermelon.  They are working quickly because we expect Dan Corn and crew to return shortly.

Wes and Beth

Wes and Howard enjoy the food.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hamill 6/10 Denali WB

AMS Guide Mike Hamill just checked in from high camp.  The team is taking a well deserved rest day today.  Weather permitting they plan to summit tomorrow.  The team is doing well and enjoying the experience.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Denali Updates

AMS guide Mike Janes 6/14 just phoned from 14K camp.  The team arrived at camp this morning.  They are the only AMS team at 14 camp.  They plan to back carry to Windy Corner tomorrow.

Hamill's 6/10 team made the move to high camp today.

Guides Wes Bunch 6/3 and Dan Corn 6/5 just checked in from the summit.  The teams are happy to reach their goal.

All teams are healthy and happy,  enjoying the great weather!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Denali Updates

AMS guides Wes Bunch and Dan Corn called in from 17 K.   All are well, the weather is glorious.  Weather permitting they plan to try for the summit tomorrow.

Muldrow Centennial Climb Update

The Muldrow Team checked  in a little while ago.  They just arrived at 11K camp at the base of Karstens Ridge.  The team is doing great!  The snow conditions are excellent. They report that the can see smoke from the wildfires in the north.

Denali Updates

AMS Guide Wes Bunch 6/3 team and Guide Dan Corn 6/5 team plan to move to high camp weather permitting.  All are strong and in good spirits.

AMS Guide Mike Hamill 6/10 team is taking as well deserved rest day, after yesterday's carry day.  They plan to move to high camp tomorrow.

Collins Upper West Rib Returns

AMS Guides Greg Collins, Noah Ronczkowski and team returned to Talkeetna today.  They are busy unpacking,  and enjoying watermelon and coffee. They requested a return team picture.  They  had a great time!

Gordon, Guide Noah Ronczkowski, Aaron, Ben, Robert, Guide Greg Collins

Monday, June 17, 2013

Another Summit

AMS guide Greg Collins called in a little while ago from the Summit.  His team climbed the Upper West Rib of Denali.

We also heard that AMS guides Todd Tumolo and Dusty Eroh climbed the Cassin Ridge of Denali.  They summitted last night and are on their way down.

AMS guide Josh Hoeschen and his team will be leaving base camp in 5-6 hours to start their trek to camp 1 at the bottom of Ski Hill during the coldest part of the night.

Scenes from AMS

Here are some photos in and out of the mountains. We have a Denali Expedition departing today;  they are busy gear checking and they fly at 5:00 PM.

Photo of Paul on the summit of Denali, June 7; his seventh and final summit. This is was his third attempt on Denali.

Trixie lounging in the side yard at AMS HQ...she prefers the couch!

Guide Dustin Horton and climber Ryan going over gear.

Guide Josh Hoeschen checking his list.

Intern Jake enjoying the sunshine and tent set up.

Intern Becky checking guy lines on tents.

Always doing the exciting and glamorous work: AMS Owner Colby Coombs unpacks the long awaited duffel bags.

A picture of the recently returned students from their 12-day Mountaineering Course.
A mass of AMS teams on the summit from June 7, 2013

AMS instructor Brian Skean leading a rope team on the Kahiltna Glacier. The 12 Day Mountaineering Course spent their time on the Kahiltna Glacier.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

More Denali Updates!

There's a bunch of AMS folks at the 14K camp.

Hamill's 6/10 team arrived at the 14,000 foot base camp today and they are joining Corn's Custom Denali team as well as Bunch's 6/3 team. Bunch and Corn should be moving up to high camp tomorrow. Hamill's team will do a back carry to retreive their gear at the 13,500 cache. Then they might take a rest day or do a  front carry to the 16,200 ridge.

Collin's West Rib team called in and they are "happily installed at their high camp" at 16,200 feet on the West Rib. They have a bomb-proof camp fortified with a snow cave. Tomorrow they will make their summit attempt.

Here are some photographs (taken in prior years) of the scene at 14K and the West Rib.
Ascending the headwall; see 14 K camp waaay below.

Fish Eye view of 14 K camp; headwall in the background.

NPS Rangers write the weather forecast each day.

The kitchen cook tent or 'posh', as it is called. It is the gathering place for all meals.
Climbers on the West Rib Route.

West Rib Route

Another view of 14K camp. Those are climbers entering camp, Mount Hunter in the background.