Thursday, January 31, 2013

Safari Time!

The 2013 AMS/CWVC Kilimanjaro Team has fully descended the mountain safely and returned to their hotel.  Now have begun the safari portion of their expedition.

For me, this part of the expedition is such a great reward for all the hard work of the climb, and I imagine this team feels the same way.

Here are some photos that speak for themselves from AMS guide Colby Coombs.

~Caitlin







Around the Office...

We continue to busy here at AMS headquarters on 3rd Street.

Guides Joey McBrayer and Karl Swanson have been packing for upcoming trips to the arctic as logistics/field safety officers for a film. We've been hired by the BBC for work on a television show about folks who live in very remote villages of Alaska.

Sometimes I do get out from under the paperwork and computer...yesterday my friend Danial (Talkeetna Air Taxi pilot and mechanic) and I skijored up the Susitna River. It was fantastic.

Laura

It can be a trick getting the dogs hooked up and not tangled.


It's fun skiing through town and out to the river.

Packing!
Joey does some office logistics!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kilimanjaro Pictures!

AMS guide Colby Coombs just sent this photos in to us from Tanzania.  It looks like they had an amazing adventure on the Rongai Route.  These photos show their awesome effort and teamwork.  What a great trip.  They are now on the safari leg of their adventure, the safari is a wild adventure of its own.

Cheers,
Laura and Caitlin

Weathering a storm below the summit.

Billy Costello trying to get his boot off this prosthetic leg.

Billy and Pete Quintanilla on Day One of the approach.

Vic "Yeti" Thibeault

Will Wilson and Dave Olson near the summit.

View from the Top!

Will Wilson....with his leg and the painted toenails done by manacurist Lisle three years ago!

Tom Barnhill and Yeti

Getting some help on the descent.



All the porters and guides holding up the Explorer's and Combat Wounded Veteran's flags...taken just last night.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kilimanjaro!

AMS guide Colby Coombs called in with a report.

Yesterday the team topped out on Kilimanjaro's Crater Rim, 5,685 meters at 4:00 pm local time.  They put in a hardworking 16 hour day of climbing steep trail, around boulders and then descended loose scree.

Due to some previous compilations Danny and Arlene chose to stay at high camp. 

The whole team is descending to the green of lower elevations right now and are ALL feeling good.

Well done team, we are proud of you all for a job well done.

Cheers,
Caitlin

CWVC Kilimajaro Update

AMS Guide Colby Coombs phoned in last night.  It was their morning and they had begun their summit day attempt.  This is the steepest and by far the most demanding part of this climb.  They were feeling strong and Master Chief Will Wilson was leading the pack for their start out of camp.  It was planned to be a very, very long day as it is for each and every climber of Kilimanjaro.

Colby said "Here we are just looking out over Africa.  There is a thin cloud layer below us and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day to be on Kilimanjaro."

Upon return from this long day, they will stay at high camp another night and then begin their descent.

All Best,
Caitlin





Friday, January 25, 2013

Kilimajaro Rongai Route Photo

Here is a photo of our CWVC team's route, they are following the red line, click on photo to view as a larger image!

Kilimanjaro Update

AMS Guide Colby Coombs called in last night (their morning) as he and the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge Team were on their way to high camp.  It will be a long day of about 6 hours on the trail.

He said that yesterday they all made it in good time to camp 3 and he called it an easy day to get there.  In the mountains its nice to have some short easy days that nearly feel like a rest day while you are still making upward progress.

We are super proud of this team and are anxiously awaiting the next report.

We will keep you posted!

All Best,
Caitlin

Expedition and Course Availability

It is a cold and clear day in Talkeetna today but the Alaska Range got a dump of snow in the last couple of days...getting it all ready for the climbing season!

Denali, West Buttress

May 6 - May 26     4 spaces available, guide TBA, special ratio: 4 climbers: 2 guides $7900, 21 days

All below climbs will have 6 climbers: 2-3 guides, $6800, 21 days
May 10 - May 30    2 spaces available, guided by Larry Holmgren
May 13 - June 2      4 spaces available, guided by Todd Tumolo
May 20 - June 9      3 spaces available, guided by Nate Opp
May 25 - June 14    3 spaces available, guided by Nick D'Alessio
May 27 - June 16    2 spaces available, guided by Mark Postle
June 3 - June 23      FULL, guided by Todd Passey (wait list available)
June 10 - June 30    FULL, guided by Mike Hamill (wait list available)
June 14 - July 4       4 spaces available, guided by Mike Janes
June 17 - July 7       3 spaces available. guided by Josh Hoeschen
June 23 - July 13     6 spaces available, guided by Joey McBrayer
June 27 - July 17     FULL, guided by Rob Gowler (wait list available)

Denali, Upper West Rib - 21 Days, $7900, 4 climbers: 2 guides  
May 3 - 23, 3 spaces available 
June 7 - June 27,    FULL 

Foraker, Sultana Ridge, Guided by Melis Coady
May 17 - June 2,   FULL  
17 Days, $6800, 4 climbers: 2 guides

MOUNTAINEERING COURSES

Denali Prep Course
9 students, 2-3 instructors, $3100
June 2 -11

Twelve Day Mountaineering
 9 students, 2-3 instructors, $2950

April 22 - May 3, 8 spaces left
May 7 -18, 6 spaces left
June 4 - 15, 8 spaces left
July 9 - 20, 9 spaces left
August 3 -14, 6 spaces left
September 1-12, 9 spaces left

Fifteen Day Mountaineering
  ~A new course that combines flying into and hiking out of the Alaska Range!
 9 students, 2-3 instructors, $3300
July 9 - 23, 8 spaces left
 
Six Day Mountaineering
9 students, 2-3 instructors, $2150
April 28 - May 3
May 14 - 19
June 18 -23
July 21 -26
August 18 -23
September 2 -7

Advanced Mountaineering  ~We only take six students on this course and it does fill up!
 6 students, 2 instructors, $3500
May 1 - 12

Mountain Guides Course ~ A great step to help launch your guiding career.

We offer this course only every few years and this is the year!
Up to 6 students: 2 instructors, $3500

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kilimanjaro Update

Colby Coombs called in last night (their morning) and all is well. They are doing a great job working together and moving higher up - so far everyone is doing well with the altitude and terrain and route is great. They said the food and local help is really doing a great job and they are really kind and helpful. They are focused on this climbing challenge and getting some good research accomplished as well.  They are a strong well connected team.

According to their itinerary....

"A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb panoramas of the Kenyan plains to the north. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,206f), spectacularly situated in a cirque beneath the towering cliffs of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or to explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization. "


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kilmanjaro Expedition

We heard from Guide Colby today.  The group is moving slow and steady,  they are having a great time.  The group visited the Treasures of Africa Orphanage before departing for the climb.  The children were happy to meet them.   The group read to them and played soccer.  The children sang two songs for them.





Friday, January 18, 2013

Kilmanjaro Climb

Colby Coombs and Tim Hewette joined the Combat Wounded Warrior  group in Tampa.  They are busy preparing to fly on Saturday.  We enjoy working with this fine group of people.  This expedition will not only be a great adventure, it will also provide research on prosthetics as they are pushed to their limits:   Combat Wounded Veterans take on Kilimanjaro


The first group photo

Expedition Availability

Denali, West Buttress

May 6 - May 26     4 spaces available, guide TBA, special ratio: 4 climbers: 2 guides $7900, 21 days

All below climbs will have 6 climbers: 2-3 guides, $6800, 21 days
May 10 - May 30    2 spaces available, guided by Larry Holmgren
May 13 - June 2      4 spaces available, guided by Todd Tumolo
May 20 - June 9      3 spaces available, guided by Nate Opp
May 25 - June 14    4 spaces available, guided by Nick D'Alessio
May 27 - June 16    4 spaces available, guided by Mark Postle
June 3 - June 23      FULL, guided by Todd Passey (wait list available)
June 10 - June 30    FULL, guided by Mike Hamill (wait list available)
June 14 - July 4       4 spaces available, guided by Mike Janes
June 17 - July 7       4 spaces available. guided by Josh Hoeschen
June 23 - July 13     6 spaces available, guided by Joey McBrayer
June 27 - July 17     FULL, guided by Rob Gowler (wait list available)

Denali, Upper West Rib - 21 Days, $7900, 4 climbers: 2 guides  
May 3 - 23, 3 spaces available 
June 7 - June 27,    FULL 

Foraker, Sultana Ridge, Guided by Melis Coady
May 17 - June 2,   1 space available  
17 Days, $6800, 4 climbers: 2 guides

High Camp Denali

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Combat Wounded Veterans Take on Kilimanjaro

AMS is honored to be working with our favorite group of Veterans again––the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge folks based in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Veterans from this organization have been coming to Alaska for the past several years to participate in mountaineering courses, climbs and rafting but now we've teamed up to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.


AMS Director, Colby Coombs and Lead Guide, Tim Hewette will be the expedition guides. Tim has been the instructor on past CVW courses at AMS.

During the expedition, the team will be tracking and testing the mechanical and non-mechanical qualities of those team members who are physically compromised to help evaluate their prosthetic devices and enable clinical providers to further improve performance and functionality of these prosthetics based on field research and scientific application.

Wounded Veteran climbers include 3 single leg below knee amputees and 1 single leg above knee amputee as well as one hand amputee with a fully functioning prosthetic bio mechanical robotic hand. Additionally, 2 soldiers recovering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD will be evaluated on the basis of physical and emotional stress in a team and individual environment adding invaluable research data to the understanding of this complex physical and emotional condition.
Master Chief Will Wilson (ret) gets his toenails painted at an AMS bbq in 2011. Will has taken a Mountaineering Course and Denali Expedition with us and now he's off to Kilimanjaro. Too bad Lisle can't paint his toenails before he goes!
The expedition is January 20 through February 2, 2013 on the Rongai route. This route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, the Rongai route still experiences low traffic.

We've formed a friendship with many of the team members from their time here in Alaska and are very proud to be associated with them again on international terrain.

We will post updates on the expedition as we receive them.





Thursday, January 3, 2013

Expedition and Course Availability

Happy New Year!

We had a fine New Year's celebration in beautiful downtown Talkeetna with fireworks at the VFW (and throughout town) as well as a party at the Fairview Inn and the Teepee Lounge.
We hope your celebration was equally enjoyable.
A big bonfire with fireworks started off the evening at the V.F.W. Post 3836
We had a few more applications roll in over the holidays and more are in the pipeline. Time to make your resolution to climb with AMS in 2013!

EXPEDITIONS

Denali, West Buttress

May 6 - May 26     4 spaces available, guide TBA, special ratio: 4 climbers: 2 guides $7900, 21 days

All below climbs will have 6 climbers: 2-3 guides, $6800, 21 days
May 10 - May 30     2 spaces available, guided by Larry Holmgren
May 13 - June 2      5 spaces available, guided by Todd Tumolo
May 20 - June 9      3 spaces available, guided by Nate Opp
May 25 - June 14    6 spaces available, guided by Nick D'Alessio
May 27 - June 16    4 spaces available, guided by Mark Postle
June 3 - June 23      FULL, guided by Todd Passey (wait list available)
June 10 - June 30    FULL, guided by Mike Hamill (wait list available)
June 14 - July 4       4 spaces available, guided by Mike Janes
June 17 - July 7       4 spaces available. guided by Josh Hoeschen
June 23 - July 13     6 spaces available, guided by Joey McBrayer
June 27 - July 17     FULL, guided by Rob Gowler (wait list available)

Denali, Upper West Rib - 21 Days, $7900, 4 climbers: 2 guides  
May 3 - 23, 3 spaces available 
June 7 - June 27,    FULL 

Foraker, Sultana Ridge, Guided by Melis Coady
May 17 - June 2,   1 space available  
17 Days, $6800, 4 climbers: 2 guides

MOUNTAINEERING COURSES


Denali Prep Course
9 students, 2-3 instructors, $3100
June 2 -11

Twelve Day Mountaineering
 9 students, 2-3 instructors, $2950
April 22 - May 3
May 7 -18
June 4 - 15
July  -20
August 3 -14
September 1-12


Fifteen Day Mountaineering
  ~A new course that combines flying into and hiking out of the Alaska Range!
 9 students, 2-3 instructors, $3300
July 9 - 23, 8 spaces left
 
Six Day Mountaineering
9 students, 2-3 instructors, $2150
April 28 - May 3
May 14 - 19
June 18 -23
July 21 -26
August 18 -23
September 2 -7

Advanced Mountaineering  ~We only take six students on this course and it does fill up!
 6 students, 2 instructors, $3500
May 1 - 12

Mountain Guides Course ~ A great step to help launch your guiding career.

We offer this course only every few years
Up to 6 students: 2 instructors, $3500

April 17 - 28, 2013