Clearing the Roads for 2002 Denali Season (snowpack much below normal)

Clearing the Roads for 2002 Denali Season (snowpack much below normal)

roger
roger

March 27th, 2002, 7:41 pm #1

I am going to try put all my 2002 Mount McKinley climbing season news in this thread. So here goes:
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Fairbanks -- Bulldozers and road graders began rumbling down the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday, clearing away a winter's worth of snow and ice.

The park's road crew started the arduous process of clearing the 95-mile road that leads into the 6-million-acre park in the heart of the Alaska Range.

The park has had only light snowfall this winter -- just 2 feet of snow compared to an average of about 6-8 feet. But crews still have plenty of work ahead of them.

"It's been a very light snow year and that always leads to a bad ice year," said Brad Ebel, the park's West District road foreman. "We're seeing ice where we don't usually see it."

Only the first 15 miles of the road, which is also the only paved part of the road, is open to public traffic. Beyond that, buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park on a narrow gravel road. The road is closed every September.
http://adn.com/alaska/story/840123p-926314c.html
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roger
roger

March 27th, 2002, 7:44 pm #2

Many thanks to Steve Gruhn for pointing this excellent article (which is the Life section rather than the expected Outdoors). I'm only posting a tiny excerpt. It's a great article.

Peak Eating
Pack plenty of your favorite foods for a morale boosts up the mountain


By Kirsten Dixon
AnchorageDaily News Correspondent

(Published: March 27, 2002)
http://adn.com/life/story/840112p-926297c.html


Generally, a small expedition will carry two small backpacking stoves that run on white gas. Ken Bayne, an experienced mountaineer, recommends bringing about 10 ounces of fuel for each day. Bayne carries one large pot to melt snow in, a smaller pot to heat water for hot drinks, and a small pressure cooker to cook meals in. The pressure cooker shortens the cooking time, particularly at high altitude. Most expeditions bring some kind of kitchen board -- a thin plywood sheet or similar board to rest stoves on so they don't sink into the snow.

Another important kitchen element is a good insulated cup that keeps food and drinks hot.

Gary Bocarde of Mountain Travel likes to serve normal food for as many days of his trip as he can. He takes several days' worth of bagels, pancakes, French toast and similar high-carbohydrate, high-fat breakfast foods. Bocarde doesn't use freeze-dried foods -- as many guides do -- except for vegetables he adds to something more delectable.

"There aren't enough calories in freeze-dried meals, and they are too expensive," Bocarde says.

In order to expedite the meal process, some climbers prefer to eat freeze-dried foods just on the day of they hope to reach the summit.

Food variety can be a tremendous morale booster. Most guides consider creative cooking skills an essential element to good leadership in a mountaineering group. Climbers like to trade foods with other expeditions. Some bring foods just for the fun of trading.

What foods are not recommended? Freeze-dried split pea soup hasn't gained much favor except in the eyes of legendary climber Ray Genet. Just as at home, most climbers just don't like the taste of it. Genet, though, liked the soup spiked with sausage.

Peanut butter gets mixed reviews because it tends to turn to rock in cold weather, but those who take it on the trip like its protein boost and added flavor to otherwise dull fare. Chocolate candy can get "smushed and nasty."

Bringing favorite foods is critical. Altitude generally depresses the appetite, and it can be an effort just to boil water. Just like a good sled dog, climbers need to be good eaters.

"If you don't like it at sea level, there's no way it's going to look appealing when you're at 17,000 feet! Plus, you're still hauling food (both up and down) that you don't like," Bayne said.

Avoid too much fresh foods that contains lots of water, because they weigh too much. Rely on mostly dry foods: cereal, pasta, rice, wheat, oatmeal, baked goods -- brownies and cookies -- cheese, meats, butter and maybe a few freeze-dried vegetables.

Ziploc bags are the repackaging containers of choice. Heavy-duty trash compactor bags provide extra strength.




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roger
roger

April 11th, 2002, 2:03 pm #3

I am going to try put all my 2002 Mount McKinley climbing season news in this thread. So here goes:
----------
Fairbanks -- Bulldozers and road graders began rumbling down the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday, clearing away a winter's worth of snow and ice.

The park's road crew started the arduous process of clearing the 95-mile road that leads into the 6-million-acre park in the heart of the Alaska Range.

The park has had only light snowfall this winter -- just 2 feet of snow compared to an average of about 6-8 feet. But crews still have plenty of work ahead of them.

"It's been a very light snow year and that always leads to a bad ice year," said Brad Ebel, the park's West District road foreman. "We're seeing ice where we don't usually see it."

Only the first 15 miles of the road, which is also the only paved part of the road, is open to public traffic. Beyond that, buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park on a narrow gravel road. The road is closed every September.
http://adn.com/alaska/story/840123p-926314c.html
This article is perhaps a little confused. I think McKinley has been climbed from the East but they are doing it "alpine style" (they carry all their equipment).
-------------
Brian Block and teammate Joel Andersen, 29, of Zearing will attempt an alpine-style first ascent on Denali, also known as Mount McKinley. The attempt will include a 40-plus-mile trek approach.
"Going alpine-style means climbing with everything on our backs, moving up and on to our destination, without fixed ropes," Block said.
Most places have already been climbed, he said. "This one's undone at this point."
http://www.dmregister.com/news/stories/ ... 55515.html
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 13th, 2002, 11:48 pm #4

I am going to try put all my 2002 Mount McKinley climbing season news in this thread. So here goes:
----------
Fairbanks -- Bulldozers and road graders began rumbling down the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday, clearing away a winter's worth of snow and ice.

The park's road crew started the arduous process of clearing the 95-mile road that leads into the 6-million-acre park in the heart of the Alaska Range.

The park has had only light snowfall this winter -- just 2 feet of snow compared to an average of about 6-8 feet. But crews still have plenty of work ahead of them.

"It's been a very light snow year and that always leads to a bad ice year," said Brad Ebel, the park's West District road foreman. "We're seeing ice where we don't usually see it."

Only the first 15 miles of the road, which is also the only paved part of the road, is open to public traffic. Beyond that, buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park on a narrow gravel road. The road is closed every September.
http://adn.com/alaska/story/840123p-926314c.html
John Griber was inching his way down a 45-degree ice face on Mount St. Elias, choosing his route to avoid almost certain death if he fell, when he heard the swishing.
About 40 feet away, fellow climber Aaron Martin was off his skis and on his side, sliding with no way to stop.
"All I heard was Gore-Tex on ice," Griber said. "He was sliding on his right hip."
Griber watched for 30 seconds as Martin slid hundreds of feet and out of sight. Then he yelled for a second skier in the party, Reid Sanders. His calls were met with silence. Martin, 32, of Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Sanders, of West Yellowstone, Mont., were presumed killed in falls on the Tyndall Glacier.
The Associated Press on Friday, Griber, his voice at times cracking, said the party of four intended to climb to the summit of the 18,008-foot Mount St. Elias, the second tallest peak in the United States, and be the first to ski or snowboard to sea level from that height. All four were experienced mountain skiers. Martin and another team had attempted the descent last year but were turned back by a snowstorm at about 15,000 feet.
http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdee ... 058353.htm
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roger
roger

May 7th, 2002, 2:15 pm #5

I am going to try put all my 2002 Mount McKinley climbing season news in this thread. So here goes:
----------
Fairbanks -- Bulldozers and road graders began rumbling down the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday, clearing away a winter's worth of snow and ice.

The park's road crew started the arduous process of clearing the 95-mile road that leads into the 6-million-acre park in the heart of the Alaska Range.

The park has had only light snowfall this winter -- just 2 feet of snow compared to an average of about 6-8 feet. But crews still have plenty of work ahead of them.

"It's been a very light snow year and that always leads to a bad ice year," said Brad Ebel, the park's West District road foreman. "We're seeing ice where we don't usually see it."

Only the first 15 miles of the road, which is also the only paved part of the road, is open to public traffic. Beyond that, buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park on a narrow gravel road. The road is closed every September.
http://adn.com/alaska/story/840123p-926314c.html
May 2002 (Newstream) -- On May 16th the first non-guided team of mountain climbers with multiple sclerosis (MS) will begin their ascent of the highest point in North America - Denali.
The seven person team made up almost exclusively of people living with MS are part of Climb for the Cause. Their goal is to change the perception of what people living with MS can do and urge people with MS to get on drug therapy as soon as they are diagnosed.
http://www.newstream.com/us/story_pub.s ... 213.123.19
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roger
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May 17th, 2002, 4:30 pm #6

John Griber was inching his way down a 45-degree ice face on Mount St. Elias, choosing his route to avoid almost certain death if he fell, when he heard the swishing.
About 40 feet away, fellow climber Aaron Martin was off his skis and on his side, sliding with no way to stop.
"All I heard was Gore-Tex on ice," Griber said. "He was sliding on his right hip."
Griber watched for 30 seconds as Martin slid hundreds of feet and out of sight. Then he yelled for a second skier in the party, Reid Sanders. His calls were met with silence. Martin, 32, of Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Sanders, of West Yellowstone, Mont., were presumed killed in falls on the Tyndall Glacier.
The Associated Press on Friday, Griber, his voice at times cracking, said the party of four intended to climb to the summit of the 18,008-foot Mount St. Elias, the second tallest peak in the United States, and be the first to ski or snowboard to sea level from that height. All four were experienced mountain skiers. Martin and another team had attempted the descent last year but were turned back by a snowstorm at about 15,000 feet.
http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdee ... 058353.htm
Craig Medred has a scathing report on the fatal Elias climb Here are some excerpts:

http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/10861 ... 2339c.html


As pilot and wilderness veteran Paul Claus of Ultima Thule Outfitters has observed, the men went up St. Elias too fast. Claus dropped the group at 10,500 feet on April 5. Three days later, Reid and Sanders were at the 18,008-foot summit with Griber lagging just behind.
The standard rule of thumb for altitude gain in mountaineering is 1,000 feet per day at elevations above 8,000 feet. Experienced Alaska mountaineer Colby Coombs, in his guide to climbing Mount McKinley, recommends climbers spend a full day at the Kahiltna base camp at 7,200 feet to begin altitude adjustment.
Then he suggests taking about a week to hike the glacier to the 14,200 foot Base Camp, above which the real climbing begins.
Sports Illustrated describes Von Doersten's hands as being so badly frostbitten that they were useless.
Which prompts a question:
If his hands were useless, why did his climbing companions leave him alone in a snow cave for days while they went for the summit?
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roger
roger

May 17th, 2002, 4:31 pm #7

I am going to try put all my 2002 Mount McKinley climbing season news in this thread. So here goes:
----------
Fairbanks -- Bulldozers and road graders began rumbling down the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday, clearing away a winter's worth of snow and ice.

The park's road crew started the arduous process of clearing the 95-mile road that leads into the 6-million-acre park in the heart of the Alaska Range.

The park has had only light snowfall this winter -- just 2 feet of snow compared to an average of about 6-8 feet. But crews still have plenty of work ahead of them.

"It's been a very light snow year and that always leads to a bad ice year," said Brad Ebel, the park's West District road foreman. "We're seeing ice where we don't usually see it."

Only the first 15 miles of the road, which is also the only paved part of the road, is open to public traffic. Beyond that, buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park on a narrow gravel road. The road is closed every September.
http://adn.com/alaska/story/840123p-926314c.html
Two Spanish mountain climbers were seriously hurt after falling on their way down from Denali Pass on Mount McKinley late Wednesday night.
Francisco Rodriguez Martin, 35, suffered broken ribs and severe frostbite and Miguel Angel Romero Ruiz, 33, suffered a fractured ankle, a head injury and possibly a broken neck. Both men were being treated at Providence Alaska Medical Center on Thursday.
The climbers, members of the five-person Gamba De Palamos expedition, were traveling unroped from the 18,200-foot level to the 17,200-foot high camp on the West Buttress route when they fell.
It was the first rescue of this year's McKinley climbing season, which runs from late April to mid-July. According to the Talkeetna Ranger Station, 322 climbers have been issued permits to climb McKinley as of Thursday. Another 32 have climbed and returned, of which three reached the 20,320-foot summit.
http://www.adn.com/alaska/story/1111421p-1218728c.html



The latest McKinley from the Anchorage Daily News is available at:
http://www.adn.com/dwb_search/index.htm ... %3BArchive
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roger
roger

May 22nd, 2002, 1:29 pm #8

I am going to try put all my 2002 Mount McKinley climbing season news in this thread. So here goes:
----------
Fairbanks -- Bulldozers and road graders began rumbling down the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday, clearing away a winter's worth of snow and ice.

The park's road crew started the arduous process of clearing the 95-mile road that leads into the 6-million-acre park in the heart of the Alaska Range.

The park has had only light snowfall this winter -- just 2 feet of snow compared to an average of about 6-8 feet. But crews still have plenty of work ahead of them.

"It's been a very light snow year and that always leads to a bad ice year," said Brad Ebel, the park's West District road foreman. "We're seeing ice where we don't usually see it."

Only the first 15 miles of the road, which is also the only paved part of the road, is open to public traffic. Beyond that, buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park on a narrow gravel road. The road is closed every September.
http://adn.com/alaska/story/840123p-926314c.html
The Morning Report has a report on the Spanish rescue as well as a report about another one two days later:
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Two days later, Denali Pass was the site of another climbing fall. The fall occurred around 10 p.m. near the bottom of Denali Pass, between 17,400 feet and 18,200 feet, inflicting possible rib fractures, chest injuries, and deep abdominal bruising on the climber. The climber, who was traveling independently, dug into the snow and camped through the night at the site of the fall, then walked to the 17,200-foot ranger camp the following morning for medical assistance. The park's ranger patrol, which included a volunteer physician, examined him and provided medical care throughout the day. Based on the patient's respiratory difficulties and potential internal injuries, the NPS-contracted Lama helicopter evacuated the injured climber to the 7,200-foot base camp. He was then flown to the hospital in Anchorage.
http://www.nps.gov/morningreport/msg01148.html
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Lynn Arave
Lynn Arave

May 22nd, 2002, 1:41 pm #9

I am going to try put all my 2002 Mount McKinley climbing season news in this thread. So here goes:
----------
Fairbanks -- Bulldozers and road graders began rumbling down the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday, clearing away a winter's worth of snow and ice.

The park's road crew started the arduous process of clearing the 95-mile road that leads into the 6-million-acre park in the heart of the Alaska Range.

The park has had only light snowfall this winter -- just 2 feet of snow compared to an average of about 6-8 feet. But crews still have plenty of work ahead of them.

"It's been a very light snow year and that always leads to a bad ice year," said Brad Ebel, the park's West District road foreman. "We're seeing ice where we don't usually see it."

Only the first 15 miles of the road, which is also the only paved part of the road, is open to public traffic. Beyond that, buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park on a narrow gravel road. The road is closed every September.
http://adn.com/alaska/story/840123p-926314c.html
Mount McKinley is out of my league, but Winford "Dub" Bludworth, of Salt Lake City and a Highpoint member who has 49 peaks under his belt, is planning on doing McKinley this spring.
I'm not sure who he's with or when the actual climb is planned for, but his wife said he is in Alaska now.
Bludworth is age 60 or 61.
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roger
roger

May 30th, 2002, 1:14 pm #10

I am going to try put all my 2002 Mount McKinley climbing season news in this thread. So here goes:
----------
Fairbanks -- Bulldozers and road graders began rumbling down the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday, clearing away a winter's worth of snow and ice.

The park's road crew started the arduous process of clearing the 95-mile road that leads into the 6-million-acre park in the heart of the Alaska Range.

The park has had only light snowfall this winter -- just 2 feet of snow compared to an average of about 6-8 feet. But crews still have plenty of work ahead of them.

"It's been a very light snow year and that always leads to a bad ice year," said Brad Ebel, the park's West District road foreman. "We're seeing ice where we don't usually see it."

Only the first 15 miles of the road, which is also the only paved part of the road, is open to public traffic. Beyond that, buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park on a narrow gravel road. The road is closed every September.
http://adn.com/alaska/story/840123p-926314c.html
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A climber was rescued from the upper reaches of Mount McKinley -- North America's tallest peak -- after other climbers found him lying unconscious in the snow, the National Park Service said on Tuesday.

Joshua Wax, 26, of Sunderland, Massachusetts, was in fair condition at an Anchorage hospital after the rescue. He was suffering from severe altitude sickness, hypothermia and frostbite when European climbers found him on Monday afternoon at the 19,500-foot (5,940-meter) level of the 20,320-foot-high (6,200-meter) McKinley, the Park Service said.
Also rescued on Monday was a Canadian climber who had fallen into a glacial crevasse near the mountain's 7,200-foot (2,200-meter) base camp.
Derek Joynt, 33, of Toronto, was flown off the mountain and driven to a hospital in nearby Palmer with a possible hip injury, the Park Service said.
http://news1.iwon.com/article/id/53130| ... uters.html
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