Denali: Crevasse Skills Workshop


The official start date of our climb is June 10 so I have two days left to get my gear in order.  I decided to climb with a group of friends who I met on my Aconcagua climb and we are doing a guided trip with (AMS) Alaskan Mountaineering School.  If you ask me, I personally think that for a trip like Denali, a professionally guided trip is the way to go.  It’s just so dangerous and as a physician I believe in lifelong learning.  With a guided trip, you continue to learn and improve skills in a safe manner.  When I was young, my friends and I got away with learning on our own by making mistakes but there really is no room for error in the mountains, especially the Alaska Range.

Today, I got up early for one last workout and then caught a van ride up to Talkeetna with my teammates.  They are Steven from Atlanta and his sister Kim from Colorado, Jen from Illinois, Chris an american living in the Netherlands, and Jared from Boston.  We got our first glimpses of the mountain from the road.  We met Colby Coombs at the AMS shop and then had lunch at the Twister Creek Brewery.

We all thought it would be wise to do the rope skills and crevasse recuse workshop with AMS.  Even though most of us had skills, this prep course taught us all new things and we were all on the same page.  We practiced tying essential knots, crevasse extraction techniques, how to ascend fixed lines, and how to travel as a team through running pro.  We ended the day with a team dinner at Wildflower Cafe and indulged on halibut fish and chips and the local beer.

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