June 21 West Buttress Expedition – Move to Camp 1

Assistant guide Patrick called in from Camp 1 (7,800′ 2377m) last night: Audio Recording. Yesterday the team loaded up the Otter plane in Talkeetna (348′ 106m) with their food, sleds, backpacks, kitchen gear, tents, etc. It’s a 15-20 minute stunning flight in to the Alaska Range. Talkeetna is in a flat area, surrounded by a spider web of rivers. As you take off, you cross this green, lush expanse towards the Range which is covered in snow year round. You fly over deep crevasses and hanging glaciers, seemingly close enough to touch the mountain tops, before landing at the “Kahiltna International Airport”, an airstrip next to basecamp marked by black flags.

After unloading the plane, the team rigged their sleds, tied in to their ropes, and marched out 5 miles (8km) to Camp 1. This first day on the glacier is the heaviest of the whole trip and can feel pretty tough. The team moved early in the day to enjoy cooler temps. After arriving at Camp 1 they set up camp, enjoyed some dinner, and today they will be caching at 10,000′ (3048m).

climbers on kahiltna glacier

Looking down the vast Kahiltna Glacier.

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