DISPATCH 8- WE ARE OUT

April 16th

After receiving 150cm (60”) of new snow in at our base camp in the Ruth Gorge over the last 7 days (April 7th-14th) and the Gri Gri boys (Japan’s premier club of Alpinists), Graham, and I spent several hours over the last few storm days stomping out a glacial run way for Paul Roderick to land his plane and digging out camp.

We chose to end the trip early because the only good fly day in the next several days and the peaks will not have time to shed all the new snow in time for us to climb. So we simply focused on getting out in time.

Building a runway is very time consuming. The size and length required to land the Beaver or the Otter bush planes is a great length when skies are your tools. Several times our works were covered by new snow but all the packing improved the success of the landing and more importantly the take off. A few times we had breaks in the storm fit for a pick-up but it was snowing heavily in Talkeetna thus the airport was shut down. To bide our time in tent city. With the aid of the solar panel and ipod technology we had countless hours of pod-casts, such as Radio Lab, BBC documentaries, Savage Love, Dirtbag Diaries this is what a typical day looks like….

8:00am- Wake up. hit the inside of the tent so the snow slides off outside go back to sleep.
8:30am-Repeat
9:00am-Repeat
9:30am- Think about waking up- turn on a Radio Lab podcast and indulge for 45min, brush the snow off the solar panel
10:15am- Graham makes coffee and I start digging out camp, make a weather observations
11:30am-Eat, listen to this American Life
12:30pm-Dig out camp, make a weather observation
1:30pm- Retreat to Tent, Read, Sleep, Pod-cast
3:00pm-Make Quesadillas
3:30pm-Start drinking whiskey, talk about climbing
4:00pm-Make hot chocolate with whiskey and continue to talk about how cool it would be to be climbing
4:30pm-Go back to the tent and watch a BBC broadcast
6:00pm-make a huge meal and talk about how cool its going to be when we get to climb after it stops snowing.
7:00pm Weather observation and work on the runway, dig out camp.
8:00pm Watch a movie in the tent talk about how good its going to be when it stops snowing

Repeat…

April 15th We had a wild pick up as Paul Roderick and TAT co-pilot Will tag teamed all the glacial pick-ups and drop-offs. Its been 7-days since a plane has left the airport so the list is long for folks wanting to fly. Will landed the Beaver in the Gorge and over shot the strip because of a strong tail wind and powered the ski plane through a turn and back to our stomped out loading zone slightly breaking a sweat. I have never seen a plane get face shots now I have, it was an amazing sight.

Now back in Talkeetna drinking beer at the Fairview, smelling the plants for first time, de-gearing, and reacquainting our selves with old friends and Talkeetna counting down until we fly back with Seattle.

Graham and I are now going through all of the media and will be putting together some video dispatches, photos, route and trip beta, all go will the older posts for your enjoyment. Thanks for all of your support and your interest in our trip. Until next year!

Alpinist wrote a summery of our climb that is nice and consice having most of the details. Follow this link.

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