As a mountaineer, I know just how long it can take to approach and climb mountains in Alaska. Depending on which mountain you wish to climb or approach sometimes it can take upwards of a solid 5 to 7 days.
This week I was reminded that Airplanes may be one of the most amazing tools & toys ever invented! Better yet planes on skis... What would normally take us 5 days of walking through unforgiving terrain, look us all of 45 minutes flying not to mention the amazing view!
We had couple perfect days flying in and around the Denali and Talkeetna Mountains.
Being a student pilot ( I am half way through my private license) at first I was a little nervous about flying the Piper Pacer directly at a massive mountain, slowing down, lining up with the glacier and landing the plane in the snow going uphill... I was nervous because the mountains are massive... and you are tiny compared to them!
In this type of flying there is no such thing as a ‘go’ around... A go-around would mean crashing as the aircraft can’t out-climb the terrain you are flying into. The flying is very committing but at the same time it is extremely rewarding. It gives me a new respect for what can be done with Aircraft. It also reminds me of how cool they can be in the mountains.
As a mountaineer I have a lots of respect for the power of the mountains, I respect them because I know how dangerous they can be if not approached in the right ways. However after the first couple of landings, it started to come together and after a few more I was able to settled my nervous energy and enjoy the experience.
We flew at Don Lee’s - Alaska Floats and skis school. Don, Rick and Esther are some of the nicest people I have ever met.
Melissa and I will be back time and time again to enjoy not only the amazing flying and remote rugged landscape but also the hospitality and warmth of good friends.
Keep watching this space because I will soon edit a short video of the experience.
In the meantime please enjoy the photos below.
The next adventure is coming soon! Cheers Rex
Flying toward the Moose’s tooth with Rick!
Flying down the Ruth Glacier
Flying up to 747 pass
Flying the Ruth Glacier
Approaching the Moose’s tooth
Touch Down in the mountains!
Back to Talkeetna, landing on Frozen Christiansen Lake (AK8).