Lisa has arrived at her camp for the next 2 1/2 months, where she will be there to meet and greet climbers that come from all over the globe to climb Denali. She and her troop of strong volunteers flew into the Kahiltna Glacier on Friday April 27th to shovel her tent spot for the season. They dug down about 8 feet to provide shelter from the wind, cold temperatures and the inevitable meltage from the Alaskan midnight sun.
TAT's Downtown Superstar Randi volunteered to help set up basecamp. Here she is resting her back from shoveling while basking in the sun. Seems like one of the first years that basecamp set up has happened without delays on a beautiful bluebird day. Hopefully that weather trend will continue this summer with beautiful days of mountain flying and taking climbers to their next adventures.
The Ruth has been a busy landing strip the last few days after a fresh meter of snow. Once the drizzle stopped in Talkeenta and the snow in the mountains TAT flew all over Alaska to drop climbers off for their adventures. We have groups in the Buckskin, Gorge, Pika Ruth glacier and even into the Kichatnas. They all know that TAT will get you there, and pick you up! Current conditions around the range appear good with average snow pack. Looks like there has been little to no freeze thaw yet.
Currently in the range, over half of our climbers came all the way to Alaska from France.
Here is a photo from when we dropped a group of 9 French off in the Kichatna Mountains.
Come one, come all! Just come dressed up as a TV character. Think Jersey
Shore, Gilligan's Island, Fat Albert, The Office, The Lone Ranger,
MASH, Charlies Angels, Fantasy Island, Starsky and Hutch... the list can
go on and on.
Team Salamander spent 10 fun days on the Pika, flying out July 1, 2011. Weather was in-and-out sun, allowing a total of 5 climbing days. The trend was toward evening clearing, with two days of full sun. The moats are in but with rain and warming things are quickly melting. There is still a decent snow bridge to the Gargoyle Buttress. The start of the first pitch had some ice which we attacked with ice axes (though one could climb with rock shoes and creative route finding). An Anchorage team replaced the webbing on the first 9 anchors last week. The Middle Troll has widening moats as well, but there are still a couple of intact bridges. The first 200' are loose gravel and boulders, and are not safe for more than one party to be on at a time. Lost Marsupials approach was straightforward. Summit ridge with corniced, soft snow. AMS arete approach without major crevasses, though the glaciers on either side are bare to the dust layer and snow cover melting fast.
Climbers put to work when the pilot needs a good place to land.
This morning over 30 climbers were waiting for a pick up. This clamor of climbers paced the runway to pack down the fresh snow.
In order for to pick climbers up on glacier the planes need an area that is at least 1200 feet long.
Stomp Stomp Stomp...
National Park Service ranger John Loomis coordinated the quick stomp so the planes could get in and land at Kahiltna Base Camp.
Taking a scenic flight in May can be an amazing adventure. Here is a photo that a scenic passenger shared with us and we thought we could share it with you. The weather has been great for flying to the mountains.