Motorcycle Hill
Posted in Alaska Range    Tags: accidents  

I've been up and down Motorcycle Hill about a dozen times so it always hits close to home when I read about accidents in a familiar place.  I snapped this photo around midnight in early June 2001.  In June the sunlight lingers until midnight on Denali and looking up from 11 camp the headwall of the West Buttress Proper glows deep purple in the alpenglow.  It's a peaceful camp and a beautiful sight if you can stay awake long enough to watch the sunset.  Rest in Peace Yoshiaki Kato, Masako Suda, Michiko Suzuki, and Tamao Suzuki.

Motorcycle Hill

Comments submitted after the jump.   ( Read more... )

Chugach State Park Management Plan
Posted in Chugach Range    Tags: access, csp-plan, rants  

The comment deadline is October 31st. You have just over 2 weeks. But what's in the plan and what are you going to say?   ( Read more... )

Rescue Me
Posted in Alaska Range    Tags: accidents  

We just spent 16 days in the Alaska Range - 13 of those days were on Denali's West Buttress - and during that time period there were a total of 4 deaths. The day after we flew out 2 more deaths occurred at high camp. (Click here to read Mike Campbell's article profiling the accidents.)

The rash of deaths after a long quiet winter can only mean one thing: It’s climbing season in the Alaska Range. Unfortunately "climbing season" also means "rescue season" and this year is off to a bad start. And with rescue season comes the inevitable "who’s going to pay for this" argument on countless blogs, op-ed pages and comment sections nation-wide. Given our current political climate where tea party members happily gloat about gutting public programs while patriotically adding funds to our bloated defense budget I think it’s pertinent that I post some links to rescue studies.   ( Read more... )

Pharaoh Messner: 1997 - 2007
Tags: dogs  

Pharaoh as a puppy in the Talkeetna Mtns. Sometime in the summer of 1997. This is probably my favorite photo of him.

I have lost my best friend and climbing partner. Pharaoh has been with me since May 1997; he came into our lives a squirming ball of fur and grew up by my side accompanying me across the country and back; always in front of me pushing his way through deep snow, scrambling up steep rock and ready for more than I could ever give him.   ( Read more... )