Tuesday, July 19, 2016

AMS 2016: July 19th, Celebrating our interns

Alaska Mountaineering School enjoys and relies on interns each busy climbing season, and has watched many first year interns become all-star mountain guides. Alaska Pacific University, located in Anchorage, Alaska has a long standing outdoor studies program that the majority of our interns have been selected from. In recent years Juneau's University of Alaska Southeast program has been growing and adding to the family at AMS. UAS program director Forest Wagner is a friend and guide for AMS.

We were thrilled to have Becca and Emma as interns this year and would like to highlight their experience:

Hey everyone! My name is Becca Erdman and I am one of the interns at Alaska Mountaineering School this summer. I am originally from a small town in Wisconsin; however, there are no mountains there so I quickly moved to Alaska where I couldn’t be happier! I am currently in school at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage getting a degree in Outdoor Studies and Psychology. 
This brought me to Talkeetna, Alaska home of Alaska Mountaineering School and the entrance to the Alaska Range.  I was drawn to AMS because of their dedication to teaching and learning in the mountains. AMS offers a unique learning experience in one of the most beautiful places on earth: The Alaska Range.
This summer I spent some time in the range teaching mountaineering courses and taking participants into Kahiltna Basecamp. I was surrounded by some  of the biggest glaciers and most beautiful mountains in the world. Some favorite memories include lowering into an 80ft crevasse and experiencing the midnight sun of Alaska reflecting off the snowy mountains at all hours of the night. 
I never in a million years thought I would make it all the way from Wisconsin for the best job ever in Alaska. I’ve had wonderful learning experiences and opportunities at AMS, and wouldn’t have spent my summer any other way. I encourage anyone looking for a challenging yet rewarding learning experience to sign up for one of AMS’s mountaineering courses.  You’ll be happy you did!
Happy climbing!

Sun protection from the daily glacier sun

Enjoying life on the glacier. 

 Becca rappelling into a crevasse at Kahiltna basecamp

A 6 day mountaineering course traveling in the Pika Glacier 

Emma Lyddan: Originally from California, I moved to Alaska two years ago to continue my college education at University of Alaska, Southeast in Juneau. I am currently majoring in Environmental Studies, Geography and Outdoor Studies. I came to Alaska to escape, explore and pursue a journey of self discovery. In my first year I learned how to ski, climb and guide people through the backcountry. At the end of that year I climbed Denali and skied in Japan with the Outdoor Studies program. I was interested in the internship at Alaska Mountaineering School because I wanted to strengthen my hard skills and further my understanding of life in the mountains. This internship has been an incredible experience. I was extremely honored to be a part of two Denali expeditions this summer with a successful summit at the end. My time on Denali has always been life changing. The determination, compassion and strength required on Denali has altered my perspective on the world in a very positive way. I learned remarkable life skills through my summer as an intern at AMS. The community here at AMS is filled with a diverse, highly skilled group of people who have come together to do something they deeply love. It was wonderful to watch and be a part of. The confidence and knowledge I gained this summer at AMS is unforgettable. 

Climbing Denali, all smiles

Sun protection on Denali West Buttress

Summit shot! Denali West Buttress, 20,310'

AMS Denali West Buttress cook tent, cooking and melting water are key skills to have to keep everyone hydrated and full of enough calories to tackle the route! 

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