Lead guide Matt Park emailed the office to update us on yesterday’s adventure.
“We had ourselves a genuine Alaska Range fake out today. After making our way to Talkeetna with the team, we had our briefing with the National Park rangers and immediately after were on weather hold. We disbursed into town and were quickly called back to Talkeetna Air Taxi and told to get changed ASAP! We jumped into two planes and took off. The range was pretty obscured by clouds but Paul [owner and pilot of Talkeetna Air, Alaska pilot for most of his life] thought he could punch us in. There was a solid wall of snow parked at the entrance of the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. We circled around in our patch of sunshine on the lower Kahiltna waiting to see if the precipitation would blow out. It stayed, so we got a bonus glacier landing on the Thunder Glacier about two miles south of Base Camp. We hung out in the sun while it continued to snow at Base Camp.
We hung out in a patch of sunshine on Thunder Glacier for about 30 minutes, but the snow never stopped in the southeast fork. We called it after one more flyby and headed back to Talkeetna. The team is dug in here in Talkeetna, enjoying another night of beds and indoor plumbing. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
We call this phenomenon the “Talkeetna Hang.” Check out this blog post written by a legendary Denali guide, Dave “Hangdog” Staeheli, of 30-plus years.