950 (not counting guided trips) Registered for McKinley as 2004 Base Camps Set Up

950 (not counting guided trips) Registered for McKinley as 2004 Base Camps Set Up

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 15th, 2004, 7:46 pm #1

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 15th, 2004, 7:47 pm #2

Public opposition to locating a new visitor destination for the south side of Denali National Park and Preserve in the relatively remote Peters Hills area has caused officials involved with the project to turn a fresh eye to sites closer to the Parks Highway.
The other possibilities include state land on the Chulitna River bluffs west of Byers Lake, a hill west of the Chulitna within the state park and a spot near Mile 140 Parks Highway , not far from the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, officials announced Tuesday at a meeting of agencies developing a plan for south Denali visitor development.
All are on state land, offer spectacular Alaska Range views on a clear day -- and all sit at or near spots that had been examined over the years since talk of south-side development began in the 1960s.
"It just seems a little odd to me that people are still driving up and down the road, putting on snowshoes and looking at Chulitna and stuff," said Brian Okonek, a Talkeetna climber who has been involved in Denali State Park planning since the 1980s. "It's been 30 bloody years."
At the end of the three-hour meeting, Okonek suggested a fourth possibility: A rise with views to Ruth Glacier that lies east of the highway up against Curry Ridge, a location considered but dropped in 1989.
"Brian had a good idea," Mat-Su state parks supervisor and Denali team member Dennis Heikes said by phone Wednesday. "That'll be another one of the sites we need to look closely at."
This time around, officials with the National Park Service, Mat-Su Borough, and state parks and transportation departments have $750,000 in federal money to study a new south-side visitor destination. A final report is due out at the end of next year. Funding for construction of the center itself would have to be appropriated by Congress later.
A visitor center or similar tourist facility has been proposed over the years as a way to drain some of the visitor pressure from the main Denali National Park entrance area on the north side of the Alaska Range and for its own sake as a way for people to appreciate the less accessible southern regions of the park.
http://www.adn.com/alaska/story/4967829p-4896233c.html
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Joined: September 23rd, 2003, 4:11 pm

April 19th, 2004, 3:51 pm #3

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html
In May 1970 I was a member of a party of 6 climbers from the Seattle area that climbed McKinley. As a comparison with the current Denali scene, we spent 18 days on the mountain with 16 for the West Buttress ascent and 2 for the descent. Bush pilot Don Sheldon dropped us off at the 7200' landing zone where there were no signs of human history. We pushed up the mountain to 14,500' without seeing a soul, although Don said there was a party on the Muldrow Glacier. At the 14,500' camp we met a small group of California/Colorado climbers. We summited without seeing anyone else and departed the mountain after encountering a Japanese group that had just begun touring up the Kahiltna Glacier. We had one stormy day during our trip, otherwise it was clear and calm (including the summit). Essentially, we had the mountain to ourselves.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 21st, 2004, 12:32 am #4

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html
ANCHORAGE--The National Park Service next January plans to double the price of entry to Denali National Park and Preserve, with the extra money to be used for backlogged maintenance and other projects.
And for the first time, mountaineers and "flightseers" who land in the park will be charged entrance fees, NPS spokeswoman Kris Fister said Monday.
Beginning Jan. 1, fees will increase from $5 to $10 per person and from $10 to $20 per family. The price of an annual pass to the park will go up from $20 to $40.
The changes are expected to bring in an extra $1 million a year, the Park Service said.
Most of that money in 2005 will be earmarked for rehabilitating trails, installing fire suppression equipment, upgrading the phone system and supporting educational programs, the Park Service said.
Charging the fees to flightseers and mountaineers levels the playing field for all park visitors, Fister said.

"It's easy for us to collect entrance fees from bus passengers, but there are other people who are accessing the park, and we just want to make it fair," she said.
Fister said park officials were still looking at how to collect fees from others who don't use the park entrance, such as dog mushers and snowmachiners.
"Those are issues that are still in the development and planning process," she said.
In 2003, the park had 359,840 visitors and collected $1.2 million in entrance fees. The number of visitors is expected to be similar this year, Fister said.
Of last year's visitors, 9,792 were flightseeing passengers and 2,039 were air taxi drop-offs, according to NPS figures.
Six flightseeing and air taxi operators fly into the park. Two companies contacted by The Associated Press said they were concerned about the increase in fees.
They say the flightseers spend much less time in the park and don't use the resources of those who visit Denali by bus.
"They're not using Porta-Potties, they're not using the roads," said Doug Geeting Aviation manager Jesse Brown, whose company flies tourists and climbers into Denali. She said she opposed the Park Service collecting fees from her customers.
Suzanne Rust, co-owner of K2 Aviation, said her main concern was the how the agency would collect the fees.
Rust said she didn't believe an entrance fee for customers would hurt her business, although she said she believed $10 was too steep.
"For our flightseeing tours, I would prefer seeing $5 because people are on the glacier for 20 minutes," Rust said.
Mountaineers already pay a $150 permit fee to climb Mount McKinley and Mount Foraker. Some 1,179 people registered to climb Mount McKinley and 36 registered for Mount Foraker last year.
Registration this year is on track to top 1,200 climbers, Fister said.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 90,00.html

The National Park Service next January plans to double the price of entry to Denali National Park and Preserve, with the extra money to be used for backlogged maintenance and other projects.
And for the first time, mountaineers and "flightseers" who land in the park will be charged entrance fees, NPS spokeswoman Kris Fister said yesterday.
Beginning Jan. 1, fees will increase from $5 to $10 per person and from $10 to $20 per family. The price of an annual pass to the park will go up from $20 to $40.
The changes are expected to bring in an extra $1 million a year, the Park Service said.
Most of that money in 2005 will be earmarked for rehabilitating trails, installing fire suppression equipment, upgrading the phone system and supporting educational programs, the Park Service said.
Charging the fees to flightseers and mountaineers levels the playing field for all of the park's visitors, Fister said.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/169 ... ees20.html
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 22nd, 2004, 5:36 pm #5

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html


http://alaskaairtours.com/webcam.html

List of Alaska Webcams
http://www.akmining.com/webcams.htm

McKinley Park Webcams
http://akweathercams.faa.gov/wxcams/wxc ... n=McKinley
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 28th, 2004, 2:40 pm #6

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html
Software engineer Doug Laures said the group of six will depart May 15 and will try to reach the summit by early June.

Students and teachers are invited to follow along:

• The group has created a Web site, http://www.climbingforeducation.com, and hopes to post daily dispatches and photos about the climb.

http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/educa ... 11,00.html


http://www.denali04.com/frames.html
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 5th, 2004, 11:50 am #7

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html
Just before climbing season kicks off each May, the "Sugar Bears" -- formally known as Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment -- haul food, communications equipment, body bags, prefabricated shelters and other essentials to the Kahiltna's northeast fork, the launching point for climbers attempting the West Buttress route.
The Fort Wainwright-based team also drops off survival and rescue supplies at the 14,200-foot level -- about two-thirds of the way up the peak -- where the elevation can lead to oxygen deprivation.
The effort is a training exercise for the regiment's high-altitude rescue team. The team's expertise also serves as a model for Army Chinook crews operating in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, said Lt. Col. Randolph Rotte, commander of the 4-123rd. Units heading to that country have contacted the Alaska team for guidance in dealing with high-altitude missions, Rotte said.
"Aircraft perform differently in thin air," Rotte said. "There's a pretty steep learning curve, and in the aviation business you can't afford a steep learning curve. That's when bad things happen."
The Park Service, which began erecting base camp April 25, doesn't have anything near the size of the Army Chinooks. It would take 10 trips on the park's smaller chopper for every Chinook load, said Roger Robinson, lead mountaineering ranger for Denali National Park and Preserve.
The Park Service would later transform the mishmash of parts into a makeshift town for rangers and volunteers, and soon, a bustling hub for climbers. This will be the launching point for an estimated 95 percent of the 1,076 people who have signed up to tackle 20,320-foot Mount McKinley this season. It's also a popular stop for hundreds of nonclimbing tourists who fly up on air taxis.
"It's not unusual to see seven planes here at one time on some days," Robinson said. "It can be a mob scene."
http://www.adn.com/alaska/story/5029397p-4957460c.html
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 10th, 2004, 3:10 pm #8

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html


Kit DesLauriers commences her attempt to be the first woman to ski Denali (Mount McKinley) from its summit. A team of four American alpinists from Jackson Hole, Wyo., will ascend the West Buttress Route before their attempt to ski and snowboard the Messner Couloir or Orient Express. Kit will be joined by her husband and skier, Rob DesLauriers, snowboarder John Griber and skier/photographer Chris Figenshau.
Rob DesLauriers co-wrote the book on steep skiing, titled "Ski the Whole Mountain" and is one of the top steep ski coaches in the world. Griber has a long list of pioneering snowboard descents from the Himalayas to the Tetons. Finally, Figenshau will document the ascent and descent with video and photo footage, on skis himself.
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.ph ... kinley.inc
The book:
http://americasroof.com/xml/store.php?A ... 0971774838
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 10th, 2004, 3:12 pm #9

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html
No one hikes up McKinley for the day to enjoy the view before retreating to a comfortable bar in the city below to lift a toast to the accomplishment. McKinley is a two-week-long, or longer, trudge. Nobody jumps into climbing this mountain on a whim. And today, thanks to the requirement of a National Park Service briefing, nobody jumps in ignorant either.

The climbers who do McKinley know they are destined to be uncomfortable. How uncomfortable?

Well, not even Hudson Stuck, a man who enjoyed traveling across 10,000 miles of Alaska by dog sled at temperatures down to 50 below, could find much joy in tackling North America's tallest mountain. Stuck organized and participated in the first successful ascent, but his record of that journey makes it clear he wasn't doing it for pleasure.

"To roam over glaciers and scramble up peaks free and untrammeled is mountaineering in the Alps," he wrote. "To toil upward with a 40-pound pack on one's back and the knowledge that tomorrow one must go down for another is mountaineering in Alaska."

Stuck was no "sissy bed-wetter" either, as modern-day Alaska wild man Roman Dial sometimes calls those who'd rather whine than work. Stuck was known for his willingness to spend days out front of a dog team pounding in a trail with snowshoes. That is exhausting work, and Stuck performed it without complaint.

That he found McKinley a less than pleasurable experience is enlightening, though it is possible to believe he was swayed by his residence in Alaska. When the long, cold dark begins to break each spring in the lower elevations, it is difficult for many Alaskans to contemplate climbing high to reinject themselves into full-on winter.

More:
http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/50541 ... 2003c.html

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 12th, 2004, 3:09 pm #10

Four Chinooks and 19 Fort Wainwright soldiers were helping shuttle equipment for the National Parks Service for the base camp at 7,200 feet. On Monday, they did the same for the 14,200-foot high camp where park rangers will be stationed May through June for the peak climbing season.
Without the help of the CH-47 Chinooks and the soldiers from the Company B, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment's high-altitude rescue team, the equipment would have to be brought up in smaller aircraft, expending more fuel and taking more time.
Instead, four Chinooks--considered the Army's workhorse, capable of carrying up to 50,000 pounds of cargo either by a sling or inside--took only a few days. It was written off as training in case the Park Service needs help with rescuing climbers off the highest mountain in North America.
For the past few years, the Park Service has handled the rescues themselves, but the Sugar Bears, as the company is nicknamed, have accounted for the highest rescues off Mount McKinley.
The highest occurred in 1995 when an Army Chinook carried three Park Service mountain rangers to 19,600 feet to rescue two Spanish climbers suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness.
"Anytime you can walk way from one of these helicopters at the end of the day and realize you made a difference, it's really great," said Boynton who participated in the last rescue the Army was involved with about four years ago.
Otherwise, the Park Service relies on the much smaller Lama helicopter to conduct rescues.
"This is a salmon and (the Lama) is a guppy," Roger Robinson, lead rescue ranger for the Denali National Park and Preserve said while riding in one of the Chinooks.
As of Wednesday morning, 950 people have registered with the Park Service to climb Mount McKinley and that's not including the guided trips, said Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Typically, there's a ranger and one to two volunteers at the base camp. Two rangers and between six and 10 volunteers man the camp at 14,200 feet and a high camp at 17,200 feet. Fister said four-person patrols will hike up from the base camp and spend around 20 days at the higher camps, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, the base camp is the jumping off point for climbers and a stop for tourists on sight-seeing flights, mostly from Talkeetna, located at 330 feet above sea level about 50 miles away.
The base camp also has a dispatcher who controls radio communications for the flow of small airplanes carrying climbers and tourists seeking to catch a closer glimpse of Denali, or "the Great One" in Athabascan as it's known as to locals.
Robinson said he's seen as many as seven planes parked on the glacier at the same time and more than 150 people milling around.
"It was a mob scene," he said.
Robinson said about 95 percent of Denali's climbers come through the base camp to do the West Buttress route of ascent and 25 percent of the climbers come in the guided groups. The camp at 14,200 feet is often used by climbers to acclimate to the higher elevations.
Robinson said he expects more climbers from Europe this year. If so, it might break the record of just more than 1,300 people who will attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 10,00.html
Denali National Park and Preserve says it will begin charging a fee to enter the lottery for a permit to drive on the park's 90-mile, mostly gravel road for a brief period at the end of the season, and another fee for those who win.
Beginning this summer, the park will charge $10 simply to enter the lottery. Those who win one of the 1,600 permits will pay another $35, including a $10 entrance fee, to actually make the drive into the park in mid-September.
The lottery was begun in 1990 after park managers eliminated what had been unrestricted travel after Labor Day. Too many cars were coming, they said.
The road now is open to private vehicles for only four days each fall, with a maximum of 400 vehicles per day.
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,141 ... 90,00.html
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