June 5 Team Lands in Basecamp

June 5 team reports “Perfect flying conditions and smooth landing on the Kahiltna. Following an afternoon of training we enjoyed our first team meal in the shadow of Mt.Hunter. Early to bed for an early start tomorrow. We will be on night patrol on the lower mountain to avoid the heat of the day. Everyone is in good spirits and we are looking forward to our first move tomorrow.”

Talkeetna sits at 348′ (106m). This time of year it is full spring there, everything is lush and green. Talkeetna sits literally at the end of the road to the Alaska Range. It has been the jumping off point for Alaska Range climbers for decades. Upon arrival the team was briefed by the Park Service, weighed all their gear, and loaded the plane for their flight. Leaving Talkeetna the team flew over a vast flat expanse of braided rivers, the Alaska Range looming on the horizon. Eventually they reached the edge of the Range and the toe of the glaciers that flow out of its reaches. Granite peaks rise dramatically from the permanent ice and snow around them. Landing in Basecamp the team unloaded their gear, and likely some food from a Talkeetna restaurant. Maybe their last salad before settling into the on-snow life! While at Basecamp the team reviewed the skills for glacier travel; like tying into a rope team, loading backpacks and sleds, etc, before tucking into bed for an early departure the next morning. Teams leave early in the morning after the glacier has refrozen in the night and before it thaws out again in the heat of the day because this is when snow bridges across crevasses are the most stable. It is also more comfortable to move at this time of day because at this elevation temperatures can rise to the freezing level, and when the sun is beating down on you while you drag 110lbs across 5 miles of glacier it can feel unbearably hot. The sun rose at 4:05am this morning, and when it “sets” it doesn’t even get totally dark anymore!

The team in Talkeetna!

Share Button


  1. Hey Peter,
    Onward and Upwards (a long way upwards!!) Beautiful day there – I am living vicariously so have a great climb and I’ll be watching.
    Love, Aunt Courtney

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.