Friday, June 30, 2017

AMS Denali Updates

Denali West Buttress 6/25 team led by Larry Holmgren and Jeremiah Phelps carried to Kahiltna Pass (10,200) yesterday.  They will be moving to 11,000 today.

Team carry 
Denali West Buttress 6/18, led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba carried to high camp yesterday. It was a long day for the team, they were happy for hot drinks and time to relax.  The team will take a well deserved rest day.

AMS Guide Mark Postle leads his team up 16 ridge photo by
Simon Frez-Albrecht
Denali West Buttress 6/16,"Team Hiro" led by Curtis Green and Dave Wade carried to 16,300 yesterday. They may move to high camp today, it is all weather dependent.


12 Day Mountaineering Course let by Jake Kayes, Stefan Beattie, Robin O'Brien is doing great! The students are learning lots, yesterday they climbed a peak called Arapiles. There are great views of Foraker from the peak.

Arapiles Foraker in background
photo by Chelsea Bomba
All of the teams are doing well!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

AMS Denali West Buttress 6/11 Hamill Returns

AMS Guides Mike Hamill, Simon Frez-Albrecht and team returned to Talkeetna today.  They are busy sorting their gear and enjoying snacks. The weather did not favor this strong team.  On summit day they reached 18,800 before hight winds and cold temperatures caused them to turn around.  The group arrived in basecamp yesterday morning but weather prevented the Air Taxi from flying in to pick them up.

Kristen and Gina

Bruce, Mike, Doug, Simon 
Gear to be sorted

AMS Denali Update

6/11 Denali, West Buttress team led by Mike Hamill and Simon Frez-Albrecht are at Kahiltna Basecamp, awaiting their flight to Talkeetna. They had a swift journey down last night and are well established to get back to Talkeetna. The weather prevented them from flying out today, we will hope for a break in the weather, as has been the recent pattern so we can welcome them back tomorrow.

Climbers at Basecamp, working together to pack out the runway for incoming flights after a fresh snow. 

6/16 Denali West Buttress "Team Hiro" led by Curtis Green and Dave Wade are at 14,200' and doing very well.  Today they had a review of classes of fixed lines and other climbing techniques for the upper mountain. Tonight they met up with another Japanese climbing group and shared a fantastic meal in our snow kitchen. They are in good spirits. If weather permits, they plan to carry to 16,200' tomorrow.

AMS tents and snow wall at 14,200'

AMS camp at 14,200' the views can't be beat.

6/18 Denali West Buttress Team led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba carried up the fixed lines to 16,300' today. The weather was fine for them and they had a good carry up and enjoyed the views. They may rest tomorrow or possibly move up if the weather permits!
AMS At the cache site 16,300'. IT'S UP THERE.

6/25 Denali West Buttress Team led by Larry Holmgren and Jeremiah Phelps are at basecamp, the weather is not ideal for moving out of camp so they are using the time to get acclimated to 7,200' and reviewing classes to be an efficient team. They are amongst friends at basecamp with NPS rangers, our other AMS team, and other climbers today and tonight. They will travel out of camp on a night schedule and hope for a freeze on the glacier to make the move to camp one faster and more pleasant in general.

AMS team upon arrival into Kahiltna Basecamp, piles of gear we work together to carry up. It will keep us safe and sound as we climb higher.

Monday, June 26, 2017

6/25 Denali, West Buttress Expedition: Launches!

6/25 Denali West Buttress ExpeditionLed by Larry Holmgren and Jeremiah Phelps have launched into the Alaska Range! They had a good day packing up and reviewing skills and the terrain ahead here at the AMS HQ. We are excited for this team to get started and have a great time climbing together. Good luck everyone!

Guides Jeremiah and Larry with Emil,  Klaus, John, Hendra and guide Dylan. Jack the AMS dog photo bombing in front.

AMS Mountain News: Denali and 12 Day Mountaineering Course

6/11 Denali, West Buttress led by Mike Hamill and Simon Frez-Albrecht made a strong attempt for the summit yesterday to 18,800'.  At that elevation they had to turn back due to high winds and cold temperatures. They have returned to 14,200' this afternoon and plan to move onwards down to 11,000' tonight.  the weather can be frustrating, but is not something we are in control of, so we do our best to make the right choices for our safety up there. This teams has worked hard and done a great job climbing up there in good style. Congrats!

AMS on the super scenic ridge between 16,200' and 17,200' 

6/16 Denali West Buttress "Team Hiro" led by Curtis Green and Dave Wade are doing well, they moved to 14,200' yesterday and today are back carrying to the Windy Corner area to pick up their previously cached items, they followed that by resting and acclimatizing to the new altitude today.  All is well. Tomorrow they will either rest or carry to 16,200', top of the fixed lines. 
AMS moving up from 11,000' at about 12,000' in a steep area with much exposure, a place to take great care!

6/18 Denali West Buttress Team led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba Moved to 14,200 yesterday in good style. They are feeling well, resting, covering classes on fixed lines and running protection techniques all while acclimatizing at 14,200' today. Tomorrow they plan to carry up to the top of the fixed lines 16,200'. 

14,200' camp in mid ground with the expanse of the Alaska Range beyond. Climbers shown are at aprox. 15,000' 

6/21,  12 day Mountaineering Course on the Pika Glacier are doing well and having a great time. Yesterday the went rock climbing on some warm Alaska Range granite and made it back to their camp right before the rain. They also saw some fresh wolverine tracks on the glacier! 

AMS students rock climbing in the Pika Glacier.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

AMS Summit Photos, Colby Coombs

AMS photo of 14,200' camp at 4 am with Denali shadow and Mt. Foraker alpenglow

AMS team with Kodiak Zach and intern Dylan standing atop highest point in N. America. Photo by Colby Coombs.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

AMS Denali Expedtions and 12 day Moutaineering Course Update

The 6/10 Military Training Team led by Colby Coombs returned to Talkeetna yesterday afternoon. The team arrived at base camp early yesterday morning, they got some well-deserved rest as they waited for the weather to clear.
Busy Basecamp

Team traveling down
6/11 Denali, West Buttress led by Mike Hammil and Simon Frez-Albrecht carried some of their food, fuel, and gear to 16,200' yesterday. Today they moved to high camp at 17,200'! They have their fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow.

previous AMS team moving up the fixed lines!

6/16 Denali West Buttress "Team Hiro" led by Curtis Green and Dave Wade are doing well, yesterday they climbed down to pick up their previously cached items at 9,600' This day can feel almost like a rest day because it is a fairly short time on the trail. Today they carried, food, fuel and high altitude gear to the Windy Corner are. They will camp at 11,200 again tonight, and plan to move to 14,200' tomorrow.  
AMS at Windy Corner, 13,300' on Denali's West Buttress Route.
6/18 Denali West Buttress Team led by Josh Hoeschen and Chelsea Bomba reports that they had a mellow back carried today to 9,600' yesterday.  Today they continued their progress upwards today and carried to 13,000'. They are back in 11,000 camp drinking water, eating and acclimatizing. They plan to move to 14,200' camp tomorrow. 

AMS Climbers making their way to Windy Corner and 13,200'. The vast view is of Denali National Park's wilderness areas. 

6/21,  12 day Mountaineering Course on the Pika Glacier (a branch of the AlaskaRange's Kahiltna Glacier) is doing very well, the team moved their camp and have experienced a variety of weather condition include a whiteout (meaning you can't see very far in front of you, you are either in a cloud, or in a snow storm) and sunny blue skies. The instructor team report that they are happy and healthy!

Previous AMS student practicing crevasse rescue in the Alaska Range.

AMS Postle 6/8 Denali West Buttress Returns!

AMS Guides Mark Postle, Michael Gardner and team returned to the summer weather of Talkeetna! The team is tired but happy.  They enjoyed fresh fruit as they unloaded gear.

Congratulations to this hard working team!

Back at AMS

Gear sorting

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 
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 
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