Saturday, July 26, 2014

AMS/Patagonia Frontiers/NCC Alaska Returned

Guides Nancy Pfeiffer, Fredrik Norrsell and Gerard Ganey  and Patagonia Frontiers youth group returned to Talkeetna today!    The team has been in the field for 24 days,  they were on a Mountain/Hiking/Rafting expedition.  The trip ended on the Chulitna River.  This group has seen some amazing views and wildlife.  We are sure they will have great stories about the adventure and can't wait to see their photos.

The team had snacks and discovered that even though they were out of the field they still had lots of work to do.   They all pitched in to unload, unpack and clean gear.

Out of the van

Group Photo before unloading gear

Gear waiting to be cleaned and sorted

Cleaning gear

Hanging gear to dry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

15-Day Mountaineering Course: D'Alessio RETURNS!

AMS climbers Keith, Soren, and Jon relax for a quick break on a long trip through the Dutch Gap. Photo Credit: Nick D.

AMS crew departing Little Swiss area onto tundra. Photo Credit: Nick D.

View from Big Arapiles in the Little Swiss area, Alaska. Photo Credit: Nick D.

AMS camps by Granite Glacier/Creek on their hike out from Pika Glacier. Photo Credit: Nick D.

AMS Climber gets some craggin' in Little Swiss- a special treat in Alaska! Photo Credit: Nick D.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

15 Day Mountaineering Course- D'Alessio

AMS guide Nick called in today with a lot of enthusiasm for the beauty of the places they are traveling through, how well the team is doing, and awe at the fact that every time they get out of the tents to travel, the rain stops. They have moved out of rocky, moraine terrain into the tundra of Wildhorse Pass. The team is currently moving towards the Dutch Hills and eventually out Peters Hill Road for a pick up back to Talkeetna. What a trip, with one 18 hour travel day already, way to go everyone!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

12 and 15 day Mountaineering Course: D'Alessio

Lead Instructor Nick D'Allessio phoned in today. Three students are still in the field completeing the 15 day course hike out portion with guides Nick and Jake, all feeling strong and motivated.

They moved again last night at 2 am, with rain while they were sleeping then clearing as they moved. Nick reported it is a beautiful day today near Granite Glacier. 

Four happy students flew out last night with guide Travis as planned for their portion of the 12-day mountaineering course. They had a great experience out there with AMS!

Photos to come of the course....

AMS previous students learning pulley systems.

AMS previous 12 day course. This course also did some rock climbing out on the Pika glacier.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

12 and 15 day Moutnaineering Course: D'Allessio

Lead Instructor Nick D'Allessio phone in today.  The 12 and 15 Mountaineering combined Course is doing great.  They have a super strong and motivated team.

All is well, they climbed a peak early this morning, have done skills classes and are now ready to move camp.  They are thankful for some stable weather as they are having a mixed pattern of wet/ windy/ sunny/ rainy and snow thus far.

The plan to move camp at 2 AM in the morning to take advantage of the colder temperatures and clearer weather pattern for easier travel on the snow covered glacier that they are living and working on.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge Team Returns

The 2014 Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge Team led by Guides Dustin Eroh, Beth Cleary, Bace Poplawski have returned from their Denali National Park 10 day hike - climb - bushwack -packraft Traverse Expedtion. 

The team is happy with their accomplishments and feel they are ready for their next step the Aconcagua Challenge.  This is an awesome team and their teamwork and strong work ethic showed even back in Talkeetna at the AMS HQ.

We are looking forward to hearing all about their experience in the next few days. We are very proud to be working with such a great team of people.

Denali, West Buttress, 6/22: Hoeschen RETURNS!

The remainder of the June 24 Denali team led by Josh Hoeschen have returned from the field. 

Talkeetna Air Taxi was able to pick the team up this afternoon.  They got out of the van and got right to work sorting gear.  The team enjoyed the watermelon, orange juice and other snacks that we had ready and waiting for them.

We are so glad to see them back safely in Talkeetna! These climbers are AMS' final Denali climber's  to return.  Their arrival marks the final chapter of our 2014 Denali season.


Denali, West Buttress: 5/24: Hoeschen: Still on their way to Talkeetna...

The June 24 Team led by Josh Hoeshen partly returned yesterday, three of their team flew out of the mountains yesterday morning and then the clouds came into basecamp, making it un-flyable.  Despite many efforts by Talkeetna Air Taxi and many satellite phone calls from them in the filed, the Air taxi was un-able to reach their location safely.

The Air Taxi is flying into the Mountains again this morning to try again to pick the remaining six of the team up. 


Sunday, July 13, 2014

CWVC: Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge

 AMS working with CWVC  have just completed the mountaineering portion of their trip up Mt. Pendleton and are gearing up for the river portion of Cantwell creek to the Jack river. They are all exhausted, but so stoked to be out on this trip! They are preparing for an Aconcagua Challenge for this 2015 winter. 

Denali West Buttress Expedition Gowler 6/25 has RETURNED!

AMS lead guides Rob Gowler has returned with their crew after a valid effort on the Great One known as Denali. They are all happy to be back in the world of burgers and showers. There will be minor adjustments including not wearing heavy boots, not walking roped, and drinking water from the tap. Here are a few photos, with more to come. 
Good job everyone, Denali awaits for next year!

AMS Rob Gowler photo of the fixed lines on Denali.

Saying "see you later" to Denali for the season.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

AMS Denali, West Buttress: 6/24: Hoeshen and 6/25: Gowler

We have heard from AMS lead guide Rob Gowler that his June 25th team and the June 24th AMS team led by Josh Hoeshen are currently descending from 14,200' camp with the goal of reaching 7,800' this evening. If weather and travel conditions permit, they will be in basecamp tomorrow (7/13/14) morning. We will be awaiting them with fresh fruit and other goodies you cannot get on the mountain. We are excited to hear their stories from their experience on the Great One!

AMS previous crew descending at approximately 11,000' with Mt. Hunter and Mt. Foraker in the background.
AMS climber Herbert whom was on Denali a couple weeks ago, showing how much snow Denali has seen this year.

A welcome sight to climbers in basecamp: a glacier plane to take them to the green of Talkeetna.

Friday, July 11, 2014

AMS Denali, West Buttress: 6/24: Hoeshen and 6/25: Gowler

AMS lead guide Rob Gowler just phoned in from the 14,200' camp.  His June 25th team and the June 24th AMS team led by Josh Hoeshen descended from high camp today in a evening window of clear skies  and decreased winds.  They have been campng out in a snow and wind storm up high and decided that a summit attempt is not in the cards this year.

They expect to travel through some deep snow tomorrow as they climb down the mountain, so that will take a while as they will have to "break" trail though the new snow.  They did do a fair bit of that travel on their way up the mountain too, so they know to move in such conditions.

We expect to see them on Sunday if weather and climbing conditions permit.

We are glad that they are back at 14,200' safe and sound and we look forward to hearing their stories!

17,200' high camp, I'll bet, looked similar to this photo today.

16,000' ridge that they climbed down this evening, it's my favorite part of the climb! Very beautiful.

Climber at the base of the fixed lines on the headwall, they descending the fixed lines today.

Past photograph of  the 14,200' camp, where they are now.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Denali, West Buttress AMS Teams: 6/24: Hoeshen and 6/25 Gowler

AMS Guides Josh Hoeschen leading the June 24 AMS team and Rob Gowler leading the June 25 AMS team texted in today.  All are well. 

They are in a storm at 17,200' high camp and are getting the full Denali experience!  Theses teams are playing it smart and waiting out the weather.  They are eating, having hot drinks, resting and getting out to shovel the snow from their tents.

Often in these storm days climbers spend a good deal of time chatting, playing cards and reading in between eating, drinking and shoveling and wall building.  It's rather a lovely simple mountain life.

I have been in storms like this myself and it is just a waiting game.  Our AMS record for waiting out storm days at 17,200' is 12 days (guide Melis Coady record breaker).  Personally, I  have been there for 11 days and we waited and walked around and had fun in the wind, and shoveled, and rested and read 3 books!

We will post updates as we hear them.  All are well.

- Caitlin at AMS

Photo of life during a storm at 17,200' high camp.  These climbers are working together to build snow block walls, the current teams have already done this and will be reinforcing them over the next few days to build the strongest camp ever!

12 and 15 Day Mountaineering Course

The 12 and 15 day course Instructor, Nick D'Alessio, checked in from the Pika Glacier today.  The group celebrated Jon's birthday last night with cheese cake and candles.  The group is well and enjoying their time in the range.  Today it is raining on them, but it will clear in a a few days, all are in good spirits.

Nick and fellow, Instructor Jake Kayes are teaching classes in the cook tent today.  As soon as the weather clears the students will be able to practice their new skills and travel on the rest of the Pika Glacier!

We look forward to hearing more from this great team of students!

AMS Alumni MTC student rock climbing in the Pika
A group in a cook tent

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Coady 6/23 Returns

The 6/23 AMS/Mt. Professional Team led by Melis Coady and Michael Gardner returned to Talkeetna today.   They are excited to be back to warm weather.  They are busy checking gear and repacking.  They are enjoying snacks and sharing chocolate that Marius brought from Norway,  carried to the summit and back.

From left to right: summit marker, Marius, Stephan (with bear Nansen), Vibeke, Michael, Chris, and Trevor. Photo: Melis Coady

Ready for the hotel

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Denali, West Buttress ALL TEAMS Update

The 6/23 AMS/Mt. Professional Team led by AMS Guide Melis Coady team is moving to Kahlitna Base Camp today.  The team reached the summit on Sunday.  They took a well deserved rest day at high camp yesterday.  They are all well, we expect to see them to return to Talkeetna Wednesday.

The AMS/Mt Pro Team, ascending on the Kahiltna Glacier, earlier on their climb

 The 6/24 Team led by AMS Guide Josh Hoeschen have moved to high camp! They spent the today resting at 17,200' and are all doing well and feeling strong.  They hope for good weather for a chance to summit tomorrow.

High Camp photo from a few years ago.
The 6/25 Team led by AMS Guide Rob Gowler moved to 17,200 High Camp today!  They are doing well and are happy have arrived. They plan to rest tomorrow and review the route upwards.  If the weather is perfect they may try for the summit as well.

Way to go teams!  It has taken a lot of hard work to get as far as you have climbed!

Climbers on 16 Ridge

Combined 12/15 Day Mountaineering Course

Instructors Nick D'Alessio and Jake Kayes are excited to be taking such an enthusiastic group to the Pika Galcier for the 12 day Mountaineering Course.  The group could not wait to fly into the range.  They packed their lunches, checked gear and  reviewed skills today.  During lunch packing they referred to them selves as "kids in a candy store".    They are anxious to learn new skills.  Some of this team will fly out on day 12 and the others will continue on for 3 days and hike out of the Alaska Range to complete their 15 day course. 

Front Thomas, Keith, Allie, Josh, back Instructor Jake Kayes, Soren, Jon, Instructor Nick D'Alessio

Monday, July 7, 2014

Denali, West Buttress: 6/22: Ronczkowski

The June 22, AMS/ AMICAL team led by Noah Ronczkowski is currently enroute to basecamp, they will be there in about an hour and the airplanes will plan to pick them up if the weather permits.

They have had an amazing journey and we cant wait to hear all about it!

Just some of the terrain they covered last night on their way to base camp:

Windy Corner

Descending from 14,200, past windy corner and towards 11,000 and base camp, wonderful night light.

Enroute to Base camp, aprox 8,500' on the Kahiltna Glacier

Denali, West Butress: 6/23 AMS/ Mt Professionals Summit!!!

We just got a text from AMS Guide Melis Coady leading the 6/23 AMS/Mt. Professionals Team.

Yesterday, the entire team climbed sucessfully to the top of North America, and were on the the summit of Denali 20, 237' at 5:45 PM.

Today they are resting at high camp where it is currently snowing, so they are enjoying their rest and most likely very thankful that they went for it yesterday!  When it clears, they will make their way down the Moutnain, and could be back in Talkeetna as early as Tuesday morning.

The sun is shining in Talkeetna today so we are hopeful that it will clear up for them later today.

Congratulations to this hardworking and very special team!

Summit of Denali, 20,237'

Perfect clear day, departing on Summit Ridge, photo: Brian Okonek

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Whoop Whoop! 6/22 AMS/AMICAL: Ronczkowski SUMMIT!!! 20,237'

The 6/22 AMS/AMICAL Team led by Noah Ronczkowski are on the Top of North America!!!

They reached the top at approximately 7:20 PM Alaska time.  Congrats to this great team!  They report a clear sunny and windless climb to the top.

We wish them the best of luck on their descent and depending on the weather, we expect to see them back in Talkeetna on Monday morning.

AMS team nearing the summit of Denali, 20,237'

On the Top of Denali, highest point in Norht America, 20,237' Brian Okonek Photo

Denali West Buttress All Teams Update

It is 80 degrees in Talkeetna, finally we get summer!  The weather on The Mountain is just about perfect today.  Our climbers are all doing well and enjoying the weather and the beauty.

Guide Josh Hoeschen leading our 6/24 expedtion called in today with the updates.  His team is taking a well deserved rest day today and plan to move to high camp tomorrow.  Their carry to 16,200' went well.

View of 14,200 Camp

The 6/22 AMS/AMICAL team led by Noah Ronczwoski is going for the summit today!!! We will be waiting to hear from them later today.  His team is strong. and they are on thier way up now.  They have a great day for it!

Previous AMS Team on the summit Ridge of Denali
The 6/23 AMS/Mt. Professionals led by Melis Coady is moving to 17,200 high camp today.

AMS team enroute to 17,200' on the 16 Ridge.

High Camp, sun just at Denali pass, ropes laid out for travel in foreground.
The 6/25 Team led by Rob Gowler is carrying to 16,400' today.   We expect they will be moving to high camp in the next day or two, depending on the weather and how all are acclimatizing.   They are all doing very well!  They are enjoying their time at 14,200' camp with the AMS gang.

14,200' camp
Fixed Lines to 16,200'