Sunday, June 17, 2012
Flying onto Denali...!
And I'm off! I'm about to fly onto the glaciers of Denali on a 1:30pm Talkeetna Air Taxi flight. I arrived in Anchorage yesterday and did my gear check with my six expedition guides: Joe Butler, Yoshiko, Ted, Ian, Sam, and Travis--my Aconcagua guide. We went out to lunch at a fantastic restaurant called the Bear Tooth Grill. Yum! I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman with Greg Harris, an expedition teammate who arrived early. I'm actually heading onto the glacier a day earlier than everyone else so that I can do a skills course with Yoshiko and Ted. We are going to focus on crevasses and avalanches. On that note, I wanted to extend my condolences to the families of the four Japanese climbers killed in the Avalanche on Denali two days ago. Mountain climbing is a dangerous sport and at moments like this we must pause to reflect on our choices and make sure we have said all that we would like to say to the people we love. It is very sad that the climbers died, and very amazing that one climber was able to survive. I hope he is able to recover from his injuries and grief. We will go on the same route as these climbers did, and I am praying that we and all the other climbers on the mountain have a safe and successful trip. On a happier note, I am very excited to be heading onto such a beautiful mountain. I never expected it to be this beautiful. Soon the lush green forests of lower Alaska will be replaced by snow and rock. Before we fly, we ate at the historic Roadhouse Cafe. The portions were huge! I had the lasagne. It was delicious. Ok well this will probably be the last blog post for a while. In the meantime, you can stay updated on our expedition progress through my Spot tracker, on the RS Facebook page (Facebook.com/rainbowsummits), or on the Mountain Trip website under Trip Dispatches. See you on the other side!