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May Gorge Reports

Fly with TAT - Thursday, May 22, 2014

Conditions in Talkeetna this spring have been gorgeous with lots of sun and not much rain, which we could now use.  Although this week seems to have cooled off a bit everywhere we have condition reports from the Gorge from the group Maddog that returned on May 19th..

The Japanese coulior Was runnel led but still in condition.  Warm temperatures have called for climbing in firm conditions from 11pm-4am.  There had been some wet slide activity in the morning/afternoon.

West Ridge of Dickey was reported to have unconsolidated snow up the ridge  and had not been freezing up high.

Spring!

Fly with TAT - Sunday, April 27, 2014

It’s getting to be that time of year again here in Talkeetna, one of the most pleasant springs we’ve had in recent years. Snow melt is spotting the roads with massive slush lakes and mud, the “snow birds” are flying back in for the summer season, and, of course, climbers are heading to the Alaska Range for the start of a new season.

Climbing season is off to a good start so far, with most climbers stationed out in the Ruth or the Tokositna glaciers. Conditions are looking good in many parts of the mountain. The Ruth and Tok have recently received a healthy eight inches of snow, the Pika getting a full two feet. The Huntington summit snow field is stable and ski conditions are excellent pretty much everywhere, especially around Little Switzerland.

 

100 Years of Summits.

Fly with TAT - Monday, May 13, 2013

The largest peak in North America allures us all with its size and beauty. Being able to fly next to Denali or land on one of its glaciers is a once in a lifetime experience for most. For some the urge to climb the mountain takes over. One hundred years ago the first climbers stood on the summit of Denali. It is amazing to think about how Denali expeditions have changed over the last 100 yrs. Below is a picture of Harry Karstens and Robert Tatum from the first expedition on Denali.

 

During this historical year there will be another first on Denali. Expedition Denali, as part of the National Outdoor Leadership School, will be a group of all African American participants. They aim "to inspire youth of color—and particularly African American youth—to get outside, get active, and become stewards of our wild places." Learn more about this inspiring journey here: http://expeditiondenali.nols.edu/about/

This year there will be several events and exhibits to check out around Alaska celebrating the centennial summit of Denali. Here are links to some of them:

http://www.uaf.edu/museum/exhibits/special/legacy/

http://www.nps.gov/dena/historyculture/1913.htm

Picture below courtesy of Tyler Westhoff.

 

Helander and Stuckey Conquer Alaskan Apocalypse

Fly with TAT - Sunday, April 21, 2013

Today we received an email from frequent-flyer Clint Helander detailing his recent expedition into the Revelations with climbing partner Jason Stuckey.  Clint tells it best, so the following are his words (and pictures).

 

"In early April, after ten frustrating days of waiting in town, Jason Stuckey and I finally made it out to the Revelation Mountains. Nothing was going our way. The weather was bad and pilots were available. Then the weather was good, but our non-TAT pilots couldn't fly in. Then both partners ran out of time and the trip was off. In a last ditch effort of desperation, I started calling friends of friends, looking for an available partner. Jason Stuckey answered the call.

At the farthest corner of the southwestern Alaska Range, the Revelations are a seldom visited area with a relatively short list of climbing expeditions.

After retreating from another unclimbed peak, Jason and I set our sites on the Revelations' tallest unclimbed peak, 9,345-foot Apocalypse. Named by David Roberts in 1967, the peak had been tried several times in the early 1980s, but had thwarted every attempt.

 

Apocalypse's ca. 4,400-foot west face is one of the most continuously steep, Kichatna-like walls in all of the Revelations. Numerous big walls comprise the expansive west face and tower over the narrow Revelation Glacier. In between the two biggest walls is a narrow cut in the face. From the ground we could easily see huge amounts of ice choking the serpentine crack.

 

Jason and I spent two days and two nights climbing the wall, encountering over 2,000-feet of ice up to AI5. The summit ridge felt wildly exposed and with only two pickets we were forced to use seated belays and simul-climb with no protection between us. On the summit, we could see all the way to Denali. Not a single cloud flew in the sky.

We carefully downclimbed and rappelled the route, leaving only a few pieces of gear aside from V-threads.

 

When we hit the glacier, we realized we had been climbing in a massive inversion. Warm temps up high grew colder on the glacier. Our base camp thermometer bottomed out at -25F.

Content with our wonderful experience on Apocalypse, we called in the big guns...Paul Roderick. Knowing that he was bringing in a group of skiers from Jackson Hole, we were happy to jump on the return flight to Talkeetna.

The next day, TAT's Otter swooped in and picked us up. It was fun to see Paul so excited about landing in such a wild place. His smile was almost as big as ours.

 

Thanks Paul and the rest of the awesome staff at Talkeetna Air Taxi!!!!!"

Storming the Citadel

Fly with TAT - Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Love at First Sight team, composed of Ben Erdmann, Kris Szilas, and Jess Roskelly recently returned from the Kichatnas, where they put in a new route on the Citadel.  The new route has been dubbed "hypa zypa," and is rated at AI5+, M6+, A3, 5.10R.  The team was kind enough to share some pictures from their trip.


The "hypa zypa" route.

Ben Erdmann taking point.

Ready, Set, CLIMB!

Fly with TAT - Thursday, April 04, 2013

We have kicked off climbing season dropping climbers all over the place.  We have groups in the Hayes range, Tordrillos, Kichatnas and the Revelations coming up.  This is why TAT is climbers' #1 choice for drop offs in and around the Alaska Range. 

The Ruth season is upon us.  There has been above average snow fall and cooler temps so far.  Looks like there is uniform snow pack and in general stable conditions.  We have a few groups in there now we are awaiting more reports from.

This photo is from the Kichatnas where the conditions look good.  The objective for this group is the Citadel from Shadows glacier. 

 

Lonnie Dupre Attempts First Solo January Summit

Fly with TAT - Thursday, January 10, 2013

After waiting for over ten days in Talkeetna for the weather to open up, Lonnie Dupre flew with us onto the Kahiltna Glacier on January 8th.  Lonnie is attempting to be the first climber to summit Mt. McKinley in January.  We wish him the best of luck!  If you're interested in following the expedition, or in the Cold Love documentary that this climb will be part of, check out One World Endeavors online.  They also have a Facebook page with regular updates.

 Here are a few shots Paul Roderick took on the trip to Denali.

 

Lonnie and "Big Mac," in-flight.  It was the first time we had seen the mountain in a couple of weeks.

 

Lonnie unloading after landing on the Kahiltna.  His gear weighs more than he does!

 

Every journey begins with the first steps.

Winter in Talkeetna

Fly with TAT - Wednesday, December 05, 2012

If you think that Talkeetna shuts down in winter then you have not experienced winter in Talkeetna.  Yes, many businesses close for the winter season, and many people leave after summer.  Yet somehow this town appears to be bustling.  People are out on the lakes, trails, and rivers skiing, skating, and snow machining. Everyone is either taking advantage of the daylight hours or enjoying the light of the moon (something we don't get in the summer). There are classes to take, theater performances to enjoy, and all sorts of events you may not expect.  If you want to see Denali on a clear day then winter is certainly the time of year when it happens the most. Not only that, but the northern lights dance around at night.  Come experience this wonderful place in the winter and you will be pleasantly surprised!

September Rain

Fly with TAT - Thursday, September 27, 2012

Now that we are approaching the end of September we are finally getting clear skies and consecutive days without rain.  

Sections of Talkeetna were under water and flooding last week due to rain almost everyday leading up to the flood as the Talkeetna River moved into neighborhoods and ran through the roads.

 

This photo is taken looking at the airport, as you can see the water kept rising and there was a voluntary evacuation called for the town of Talkeetna.

We moved our planes to higher ground to keep them out of the water, which led to a great opportunity for their fall calendar shot.

 

With these clear days, the roads are drying out clean up is under way and the town is back to normal although it was quieted down quite a bit now that we are at the end of our season. Now it is time for winter operations and projects to begin...

A Sweet Treat for Team TAT

Fly TAT 1 - Friday, August 24, 2012

As it gets later in the season, the team is still having a blast, but we're taking every opportunity we can to kick back and enjoy the end of summer.  Yesterday we got a special treat in the form a box of Regina Cherries from the Hood River Cherry Company.  If you've been looking for cherry nirvana, this is it.  Just look at these happy faces!  Check them out at www.HRCherryCompany.com.

 

 


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