Friday, June 23, 2017

AMS Denali Expedition Update: Summit and more

6/8 Denali West Buttress team led by Mark Postle and Michael Gardner has reached the top of North America 20,310' and has arrived safely back to 17,200' high camp. The guide team reports that they have eaten, hydrated with hot drinks, and are now sleeping soundly. We are excited for them and we hope to see them in Talkeetna either on Saturday or Sunday. Congratulations to this hard working team. They had a good day. Whoop Whoop!


Guide Mark Postle on a previous Denali summit day! 

Denali Summit with climbers taken from the air


The 6/10 Military Training team led by Colby Coombs spent the day at 14,200' they are descending now towards basecamp tonight and may fly out tomorrow. They are a rock solid team and working well together.
AMS moving with sleds on the mid mountain

The 6/11 Denali West Buttress team led by Mike Hamill and Simon Frez-Albrecht carried to up the fixed lines 16,200' today and will take a rest day tomorrow.

Denali's West Buttress fixed lines, this shows more blue ice than is currently there.

6/16 Denali West Buttress "Team Hiro" led by Curtis Green and David Wade 
and
6/18 Denali West Buttress led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba

Both moved to 11,000' camp last night and reported they has an easy time. Everything is going well for both teams.
Teams arriving into 11,000' camp

Thursday, June 22, 2017

AMS Denali West Buttress 6/4, Phelps Returns!

The AMS Team lead by Guides Jeremiah Phelps and Scott Patch returned to Talkeetna today! They were happy to return to Talkeetna.  They were quick to unload their gear.

The team enjoyed fresh fruit and snacks as they went about their tasks. We enjoyed hearing about the great time they had.

Sorting gear
Enjoying snacks

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

AMS Denali Expedtion Update

AMS Denali WB 6/4 team lead by Jeremiah Phelps and Scott Patch down climbed from 17,200 to 14,200 and this afternoon they departed and are on their way to to 7,800' camp.  We may see them as soon as tomorrow, depending on the conditions of the snow for traveling.

Team traveling down mountain, beautiful light at 2:00 AM!

The 6/10 Military Training team led by Colby Coombs have arrived at 14,200' camp. They will spend the night and day here tomorrow and then plan to move to the lower on the mountain.
Base camp pick ups picture by Dave Wade

6/8 Denali West Buttress team led by Mark Postle and Michael Gardner moved to high camp today. They will enjoy a a good dinner and get some rest. They report that they had a really nice day today. Weather is currently sunny, despite the previous gloomy windy forecast.
Climbers moving up to high camp on Denali's, West Buttress Ridge aprox. 16,500' photo Dave Wade.

The 6/11 Denali West Buttress team led by Mike Hamill and Simon Frez-Albrecht have moved to 14,200 camp and are happy to be there, they are established in the AMS camp area, they are cooking dinner and look forward to their first nights rest at 14,200'.

Denali's 14,200' camp with Mt. Hunter's double summit. 


6/16 Denali West Buttress "Team Hiro" led by Alex Stroud, Curtis Green, David Wade 
and
6/18 Denali West Buttress led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba are doing well.  Both teams plan to travel up glacier tonight to move camp either to 9,700', or 11,000' both are great camp locations. The weather is good on the mountain today and this evening.

AMS at 9700' camp on the mighty Kahiltna Glacier. 





AMS 12 Day Mountaineering Course - Kayes

Our 12 day Mountaineering Course let by Instructors Jake Kayes,  Robin O'Brien and Stefan Beattie just flew to the Pika.  This is a great group of students who want to learn as much as possible.
They are an organized group, the gear check, lunch packing and fixed line training went quickly and smoothly.

Students paying close attention to fixed line demonstration

Tom leaning knots from Instructor Jake Kayes

The team was happy to head to the airport!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

AMS Teams update: SUMMIT X 2 and more.

NPS image of Denali's West Buttress route and camps marked. AMS is at every camp today!

6/4 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Jeremiah Phelps and Scott Patch 

6/10 Military Training Expedition with Colby Coombs

Have reached to the top of North America today. CONGRATULATIONS!  They experienced a variety of weather from crisp and clear early this morning to clouds and hot (!) temperatures this evening. They have had clouds moving around them with light to no winds. Big congratulations to these teams and what a surprise that this day came to be, with a gloomy forecast for today.

The Military Training team is back in high camp now and the June 4th team estimates that they will be there in 2-3 hours. Both teams were strong today and are moving well. Summit day is a big deal this climbing season, its been fairly elusive this year. today we celebrate the "nowcast".

It is lightly snowing at high camp now. And camp is in the clouds, the route down to camp is well marked with both a packed snow trail and wands to visually mark the way.



AMS photo by Josh Hoeschen on the top of North America, Summit of Denali, 20,310'
AMS headed back to high camp 18,300' nearing the top of Denali Pass. Photo By Tom Toreklson


6/ 8 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Mark Postle and Michael Gardner plan to move to high camp 17,200' tomorrow, weather permitting. They are feeling rested and ready. Mark reported that they had a nice weather day at 14,200' today, which was much appreciated by all.
AMS climbers making their way to high camp at 16,400'

6/11 Denali West Buttress led by Mike Hamill and Simon Frez-Albrecht carried to 13,500', past Windy Corner, yesterday and today had a rest day a 11,000' camp.  They plan to move to 14,200' camp tomorrow and Mike reports in that: ALL IS GOOD.

AMS at Windy Corner, 13,200' lloking to the cloud covered north western wilderness areas of Denali National Park. 

6/16 Denali West Buttress "Team Hiro" led by Alex Stroud, Curtis Green and Dave Wade are doing well. They plan to move camp tonight either to 9,600' or 11,000' camp. Last night / early this morning they carried some extra food, fuel and equipment to 9,600' this helps lighten the backpack loads and aids in acclimatization. They are having a good time out there in the middle of the Alaska Range wilderness.

AMS making the carry in day time temperatures toward 10,500' with the vast Kahiltna Glacier beyond.

6/18 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba sent a message today:  "Moved to 7,800' camp. Got here at 9:30am. 4.5 hour move. Everything is going smoothly." 4.5 hours is a good time, which means this team is strong, that is a great way to start, especially on the first day. Congrats team! 

AMS teams move in the middle of the night to take optimal advantage of the colder temperatures for heat regulation and for the better frozen snow travel conditions. It doesn't get dark here, at latitude 62 degrees north in the height of summer, we see dusk and dawn light, so all night travel is particularly beautiful too. 

Previous AMS team AMS Heading to 7,800' camp on the Kahiltna Glacier, Photo by AMS Guide, Josh Hoeschen


AMS Denali team 6/18- Josh Hoeschen: LAUNCH!

AMS team led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba have departed Talkeetna last evening around 5pm with Talkeetna Air Taxi for Kahiltna basecamp after a solid day of packing, park service orientation, fixed line ascension and generally having a good time preparing. This team has traveled from all over: Indonesia, Germany, Virginia, Brazil, etc. One person took a course with us and is now ready to tackle a Denali expedition! There has been a "best hat" friendly competition between guide Chelsea and climber Herbert: gold v 80's colors... See group photo.


AMS climber Donald Halvorsen testing out the puffy jacket rentals and re-enacting the "action suit" drawing behind him. This puffy is not part of the action suit per se, but it does symbolize being ready for the elements of Denali! 

Rockstar team all packed up and ready to go to air taxi: top L Kevin, Cristiano, Herbert, guide Josh, guide Chelsea, Julien, and Donald

Monday, June 19, 2017

AMS Denali Teams Update

6/4 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Jeremiah Phelps and Scott Patch have moved to high camp at 17,200'. They moved to 17,200' today from 16,200' and they had a nice move. They loved they perch camp at 16,200' last night and staying there made it a significantly quicker move upward today. 


16,600' on the ridge with the fresh snow,  above a feature named Washburn's Thumb. We are betting it looked similar to this photo for the team today after the recent snowfall. Photo Tom Torkelson.

Military Training Expedition with Colby Coombs had a weather/rest day at 17,200' camp while they continue to wait for the winds to settle up high for a summit attempt.  They were happy to see the June 4th team arrive into high camp and warmly welcomed them! Colby mentioned that he said AMS was looking great on Denali with all teams working together, laughing, and enjoying each-other's company. We can feel the teamwork from here at the HQ, and are proud of all of our climbers and hardworking guides.  


Some of the views from High camp, 17,200' photo: Mike Janes


6/8 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Mark Postle and Michael Gardener had a restful day at 14,200' today and are looking forward to the higher mountain and some improving weather.
Previous AMS climbers at 14,200' camp with the upper nearly 6000' of Denali in the background.


6/11 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Mike Hamill and Simon Frez-Albrecht most likely made a carry to windy corner today. This is a good group and lots of fun. 



AMS climbers enroute from 11,000' to 13,200', Windy Corners. This is a more flat section nicknamed the polo field. Denali National Park and Preserve Wilderness area is seen to the north in the background. Photo: Tom Torkeslon



6/16 Denali West Buttress Custom "Team Hiro" led by AMS Guide, Alex Stroud and Curtis Green moved to 7,800' camp last night/ early morning with beautiful clear weather. They reported seeing lots of crevasses, but moved through them safely and the surface snow froze solidly which makes for much better traveling conditions out there. They report all is well.
Earlier this season on the Kahiltna Glacier  between basecamp, aprox. 7,400'. Mt. Francis in the back ground. Photo: Dave Wade, AMS guide


Sunday, June 18, 2017

AMS Moving Upwards on Denali's West Buttress

6/4 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Jeremiah Phelps have moved to 16,200'. They are excited to be camped at such a beautiful camp. They will likely move to 17,200' tomorrow.

16,200' camp. photo: Mike Janes

6/8 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Mark Postle and Michael Gardener are at 14,200' camp and they carried and cached at the top of the fixed lines today. Tomorrow they plan take a rest day. 


On the Fixed lines, aprox. 16,000' photo: AMS Collection



Views from 14,200 camp. Photo AMS Guide, Tom Torkelson






Military Training Expedition with Colby Coombs Had a good rest day at 17,200' camp while they were waiting for the winds to settle up high. They look forward to welcoming our June 4 team into camp.  They are feeling strong and are acclimating exceptionally well. 
Climber set up at High Camp on Denali's West Buttress, 17,200', photo: AMS collection


6/11 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Mike Hamill and Simon Frez-Albrecht moved to 11,000' camp last night. They have received
 over a foot of snow, so they are working hard breaking trail and last night moved carefully while it was snowing.
11,000' camp and the route ahead. Photo: AMS Guide, Tom Torkelson

6/16 Denali West Buttress Custom "Team Hiro" led by AMS Guide, Alex Stroud is settled at Kahiltna Basecamp, they are looking forward getting going, this a fun loving and hardworking group, we wish them all the best.



Basecamp with an Avalanche falling on M. Hunter's steep North face. Photo AMS Collection

Building the campsite at Basecamp, the shoveling starts here and never ends while your on Denali. Photo AMS collection. 









AMS Denali update- Team Lucy & 5/28 Team Larry - RETURN!



Guide Larry Holmgren returns just in time for Father's Day! 

5/27 Denali, West Buttress, "Team Lucy" Expedition led by Wes Bunch, Jake Kayes, and Lexie Hunsaker 

AND 5/28 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Larry Holmgren and Chris Welch 
Team Lucy unpacking on the green grass, all are doing well. Reports are that Lucy rocked it up there! 

AMS 5/28 Team Larry had a great time on the mountain and are all grateful for the experience and new friendships made

5/28 Team meeting Larry and Cara's little one Quintin


AMS headquarters gear explosion! 

AMS Denali Custom " Team Hiro" WB 6/16 Alex Stroud

The team! Guide Curtis, Chie, Hiro, Junko, Guide Alex, Guide Dave, Atsuhiro, Arai, Susumu, Makiko, Makato
AMS Denali Custom " Team Hiro" WB 6/16 with guides Alex Stroud, Curtis Green, Dave Wade, and Chris Miller have flown out of Talkeetna this morning with a great group from Japan with interpreter Hiro. We enjoyed getting to know this crew as they packed lunches, practiced fixed line and prepared for their expedition up the West Buttress. One gentlemen is an Anime fan and has brought costumes. Fun crew!







Saturday, June 17, 2017

AMS Moving in the Mountains: AMS Mountain Update

AMS Denali Expeditions Update

5/27 Denali, West Buttress, "Team Lucy" Expedition led by Wes Bunch, Jake Kayes, and Lexie Hunsaker departed 14,200' camp this afternoon and will be enjoying a descent through the night, it is a quiet climb down the mountain and plenty of hard work as they haul their equipment down from this amazing journey they have had! the weather was lightly snowing and it is are on a clearing trend for their walk down.  

AND 5/28 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Larry Holmgren and Chris Welch left 14,200' this morning and have arrived at Basecamp by early evening. It was snowing lightly  so they travelled with care. But the light snow wont allow for good enough visibility to fly planes so the local air taxi's are on standby and awaiting clear weather to fly. 
Previous AMS team leaving 14,200' camp, photo: Tom Torkelson

AMS photo of climbers moving in hazy snow. 

AMS photo of climbers keeping high spirits in cloudy snowy conditions. 


6/4 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Jeremiah Phelps  are at 14,200' camp tonight after a good day of carrying up the fixed lines to acclimatize and cache food, fuel and gear for high camp. They are excited to get going upwards, they hope that tomorrow will be the day.


AMS on the fixed lines, 14,200' camp and Mt. Hunter beyond. 


6/8 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Mark Postle and Michael Gardener
Are at 14,200' camp as well and are doing very well. They "back carried" which means they went down to Windy Corner today to retrieve their previously cached food, fuel and gear that they will use higher up. They are doing well and are in great spirits.
looking down toward Windy Corner on a windy day from 14,200'


Military Training Expedition with Colby Coombs moved to high camp at 17,200' today and are doing well. They reported that the weather was very clear up there this evening. They had a good move upwards.

View From high camp, looking out Alaska Range and at 14,200' camp far below.

6/11 Denali, West Buttress Expedition led by Mike Hamill and Simon Frez-Albrecht 
are had a weather day at 7,800' will rest and await the right weather to make their move to 11,000'.

AMS photo of the views 11,200' camp
AMS photo of AMS guide Curtis Green taken by fellow guide Simon Frez-Albrecht while shoveling out camp at 11,000'