Thursday, May 29, 2008

Glad Tidings from the Glacier?

Yup, that's me at 14,200' -- we got the local NPS folks to bring in some foliage, just so we didn't feel like we were too far above treeline. Almost like being back in VT...? After the first couple days of organizing (read, re-packing) and getting our trek brief from the NPS guys in Talkeetna, we all loaded onto a single plane for Kahiltna base camp at 7800 feet. Gear? About 117 lbs average weight among the eight of us!! And not a sled dog and rig in sight -- bummer!

We had a spot of bad weather for a couple days over the weekend, further exacerbated by a finicky satellite phone that made communication with the lower 48 very frustrating. But in the last couple days, the sky has been pretty clear with temperatures ranging between 50-75 degrees. (Were that the case, the newly gaping crevasses would likely swallow us all up, or we'd have a heckuva ride sliding on our backsides off the mountain. For now, I can only long for sitting by the side of PCH soaking up the rays and feeling the ocean breeze on my cheek.)

We've moved methodically from 7800' thru camp at 10,500' and on to 14,200', which seems to serve as primary base camp for most groups. While we rested today (still acclimating), tomorrow we hope to push to 17,200 to drop off some provisions, then back here at 14,200 to camp another night or two. Then, hopefully, if Wally Weather cooperates, we could summit early next week. Maybe we'll be loving life so much we'll just want to camp on the summit and greet the next couple days' climbers with our endless stock of single malt scotch. Yes, hallucinations and brain ramblings apparently are common at altitude...

Will try to post again in a few days. Brought to you today from my Gooseberry Hyper-GPS Dual Action Coffee Brewer / Tootsie Warmer. Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the...la-de-da-de-da-da -- feel free to finish the tune for me...

4 comments:

Mary (best sister in the world.) said...

bring me back a grizzley bear! haha.

From the comforts of my home in Lancaster , PA.......wishing you success and good weather. I think of you every day and escape my mundane life thinking of you in Alaska.

p.s. I finally saw INTO THE WILD. :-< Not the best ending to that guy's life. (I can see how ppl construed him a 'fool' but you had to admire his passion & preserverence...foolish or not.

TAKE CARE!!!

Leo said...

I wanna hear more about the hallucinations!!:-) Best of luck as you acclimatize.

Jeffrey said...

sounds great sue... you're the best! ;-D

Doug McKeever said...

Sue, that's a good one with the vegetation in the background. You will have readers hallucinating too! (actually, Sue won't see any other living thing for the duration, except ravens, some bugs that fly in, and about 400 other climbers). The scotch is a good idea....why didn't we think of that too?