more views from our wonderful drive north to fairbanks, including the still-mostly-frozen summit lake. trying to finish up posting these before comicon photos have to take over! 😳🗻 note the cool geographic features of the pingo (cone-shaped ice hill) in the distance and Donnelly Dome, which is a tundra isolate.
The “Great One”- if you look center of the Alaska range. We always stop at the South Denali rest stop, rare to see the full peak, nevertheless still an amazing view of the Chulitna river and majestic range, lesser known Mooses’s Tooth to the right. Last day of our 4 day adventure across the Denali Highway and on our way home. 30 in 30 moment 38 #denalimountain#alaskarange#amazingview#reststop#rvtrip#boysannualtrip
Denali Part 6: The Full Pull
As we pulled our 85 pound sleds up the mountain, specifically between 11k and 14k camp, we got all sorts of looks, comments, and questions asking if we were doing a 'full carry'. Most teams on Denali shuttle gear slowly up the mountain making multiple trips back and forth between camps in order to carry lighter loads and use it as more time to acclimatize. In our case, we figured one long, slow, and strenuous day was better than two or three long, slow, and strenuous days. Not only this but doing full carry's between camp gave us much more flexibility on our climb schedule and went along with our make the most of good weather climbing strategy. Due to these long and hard days we put in pulling all of our gear to the next camp in one go we were able to capitalize on our very luck 6 day window of great weather and get up and down the mountain in that time. If we had gone to shuttling gear, taking multiple days to move up one camp, we would have inevitably ran into bad weather and our summit chances would have gone down tremendously. Moving up quickly to 14k camp allowed us ample time to stay there and wait for the perfect day to go for the summit, fortunately we got that day almost immediately. If you are willing to put in the longer and harder days on the front end of the trip, I think it pays off heavily on the back end when your looking to the summit.
There’s a life lesson in this picture. Before you swipe to the next images, take a look at the roughly 30 peaks shown in this photo and pick the one you think is the highest. Then swipe to see the results.
The lesson is this: Mt. Foraker is enormous! It’s more than three times larger than Grand Tokosha. Yet because Tokosha is so much closer to us, it obscures almost all of Foraker. Pay attention - our belief regarding how things are can be deceived by where we are. So too in life when you pass through hard times, it can seem devastating to the point where you might start to believe your best days are behind you. In the dark and gloomy shadows of a break-up, a lost job, a new disability, or even the death of someone very close to you; it can feel like you might never know happiness again. This isn’t the case. The truth of these mountains and their distances was only revealed to me after I consulted google earth, which shows everything from a higher point of view. So too when you access a higher point of view to tell you the truth about your life, you’ll find that there is help and happiness ahead - a lot of it - and someday everything will be all right. Things work out in the end. This isn’t just me being optimistic and nice, the science supports that in the wake of a devastating life event - no matter how severe it is - people generally return to their previous levels of happiness after 90 days. In the meantime, stay strong, seek that higher perspective you need, and believe in good things to come.
One year ago I was doing research in peatlands in central Alaska, studying how climate change is influencing the fragile ecosystems through thawing permafrost. My free time was spent trail running and exploring Denali’s backcountry. An unbelievable experience (both the research and exploring) that seemed to be the perfect mix of work and play. Seems like it was only a couple months ago. I need to get back and explore the southern part of the state. [to give you a sense of how big Denali is, the mountain is still more than 20 miles away from where I took this picture]