Conditions of the Alaska Range in the Ruth, Tokositna, and Kahiltna areas: A dry winter with relatively low snow accumulations especially from ten thousand on up. Most of the glaciers have six to eight feet of snow over the fall neve much if this coming from the wind releasing it from the higher peaks. There have been a few major events both in Junary and March from the north and easterly directions. The range saw cold conditions in November but have been relatively mild(-20F to 20F ) At the moment most of the snow is either packed wind blown snow or dry sugar and some pockets of powder. The only climb completed as of late March is Ham and Eggs and was reported in fair condition for March. The freeze thaw cycle on Ham and Eggs and Shaken has begun but the route is still more snow than ice.
Root Canal Report: Per Neal Spradlin March 22, 2010: There was a lot of snow on the route at first, packed it down as I went. The Steep ice sections have great ice. Lower portions are a mixture of snow and ice, more specifically, crust on top of rotten snow on top of brittle ice... Lot's of sunshine. pictures to come soon
Februaury 3rd....an incredible day to wind our way through the Kichatna Spires! After completing a fuel drop for the Iron Dog in both Rainy Pass and Rohn we were rewarded for our efforts with amazing lighting in the Alaska Range.
Masatoshi Kuriaki points out his next objective: Mt. Hunter. He plans to stay out as long as March 2nd... wow.
Norio is with Masa in this photo, Talkeetna Air Taxi dropped him off at the Ruth Glacier where he plans to stay until March 4th to capture Northern Lights photo's with Denali as the background. We flew aerials before he went to the glacier and he captured this lovely image of Mt. McKinley with a blue moon behind...
Totally sold out show last night! Bunny Boots, Extra Tuffs, ties, short skirts, and cowboy boots filled with energy and serious talent. This band has Alaskan roots which explains the attire. We loved every minute of it! Doug Geeting opened the show and both he and Bearfoot recieved multiple standing ovations from the hootin and hollerin crowd.
All of you faithful blog readers know of the recent home invasion suffered by our patriarch pilot Bill Post. The site of the forced entry was a mystery until this morning - an upstairs window with a beach ball sized opening. Being a true blue Alaskan, Bill enjoys fresh air but finds the timing a bit off as the temperatures have migrated below zero... The perpetrator of this act was given a full pardon and released back into the wild but any similar acts will be dealt with harshly. Specifically, such felons will forthwith be eaten alive. Punishment will be administered by "Sky", the newest member of the TAT Team. Sky, a home protection specialist, now resides with Bill after being selected for the release program by the Anchorage Pound. Sky is large, has a ravenous appetite and welcomes all two and four legged miscreants to visit at their earliest convenience.
Here is a close up shot of the Spruce Hen... Here is Bill Post rescusing (read: realeasing outside) the Spruce Hen...
A stunned (after spending a few hours inside the "Postman's" house)... Spruce Hen on Bill's front porch
Bill came home from work the other night, went upstairs to do some work at his desk, felt something at his feet, bent down to see what it was when an explosion of feathers and Bill started screaming (if you know Bill, you know what I mean..) Bill likened it to discovering (the hard way) an IED under your toilet seat!! ha ha ha...
Adam Richman of the Travel Channel flew with Talkeetna Air Taxi recently. After being shown the nooks and crannies of Mt. McKinley, he commented on this experience, "Thank you for one of the most amazing moments of my life." Footage from his visit to Talkeetna/TAT will air around November 18th, 2009. Don't miss it! We look forward to meeting his Mom when she comes to Talkeetna to fly with us. :)
With our new snazzy Talkeetna Air Taxi belt buckles! Hot off the press, that's right TAT has designed our own belt buckle. Order now for a special rate of $25 including shipping. (Belt Buckle only.) Choose from or silver-colored finish or an antique bronze finish.
Belt Buckles Measure 3.5 inches by 2.75 inches. Be the envy of all your flying friends. Call us to order, or fill out our secure on-line form with Belt Buckle Silver/Bronze as the subject. Be sure to include your shipping address.
A couple days ago Talkeetna Air Taxi signed a letter- along with several other flight services and mountain guiding companies- asking Lisa Murkowski and other Alaskan legislators to fully fund the National Park Service budget next year. This letter was composed in response to a comment made by the Park Service Superintendent in May 2009. Park Service Superintendent Paul Anderson stated that Park Service was considering raising the climbing fee for Mt.McKinley and Foraker to $500 in order to cover budget shortfalls.
We strongly oppose this proposal, and encourage others who also oppose it to make their voices heard. You can contact Superintendent Paul Anderson by his address: PO Box 9 Denali National Park, AK 99755 Or by phone at this number by asking for the “Superintendent”: (907) 683-2294
Getting near the end of climbing season this is from an Alpine Ascents International group that flew out on Formal day at Talkeetna Air Taxi. I guess they did not realize that climbing boots are not formal. YEAH SLEDDER!!!
Dear TAT Staff: We climbed with Alpine Ascents Int'l (Dave Kratsch) and last went through your Grand Terminal on June 25. You may better remember us as escorting Sledder, our trip mascot for a friend in the hospital (see the attached photos). We are (finally) getting back to you to thank you for your great service, especially the beyond-duty assistance. Thanks to all: pilots, management, staff and field crew, for being key players in our climbing adventure.
There is a section on our sign-in sheet that asks our clients, "How did you hear about us?" Halfway through the season we began tabulating people's answers, and here are the ten most entertaining/interesting responses we picked to share:
Quote from our "Hollywood Deal" with Authentic Entertainment: "We are pleased to be working with you to develop a documentary series tentatively entitled "Sky Cowboys" based upon your business and your employees as on camera talent..."
You get the idea. Woo-Hoo, Sky Cowgirls ride again!
A little bit about Authentic Entertainment: A television production company that works with an array of networks. Currently we have several high profile shows including: Cities of the Underworld (History Channel), Ace of Cakes (Food Network), Flipping Out (Bravo), Inside Extraordinary Humans (National Geographic), and My First Home (TLC). We have also done promotional videos and worked closely with military agencies.