KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song

Archives

An Unforgettable Flight: Landing on Ruth Glacier

Thursday, July 24, 2014

by:  Alberto Garcia, KTNA

This summer, one of KTNA’s interns, Alberto Garcia, has been taking a look at the Upper Valley from the perspective of someone from Outside.  Alberto’s time with KTNA will be over soon, but he did have one uniquely Alaskan adventure before leaving, a flightseeing trip and glacier landing.  He took a recorder along, and has this report:

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I ride into Downtown Talkeetna on my bicycle the morning of July 21st and as Mt. McKinley comes into view, I stop for a second to admire the splendor of mountain scenery. I didn’t know at the time that in just a couple of hours I’d actually be standing closer to Denali than most people ever will.

I arrived at the KTNA studio that morning, my mind still in awe from how beautiful the mountain looked that morning. Most days the weather is not favorable and the mountain hides behind gray skies and rainclouds.

I had wanted to take a flight to the Alaska Range since early on in my internship at KTNA. When I was told that Talkeetna Air Taxi would fly me up to the glacier at 11am, I could barely contain my excitement. (more…)

Twelve year, human-powered expedition summits Denali

Friday, May 30, 2014

This year, over a thousand people will try to climb Denali.  Some of those will be making the attempt as part of a “seven summits” expedition, which involves reaching the highest point on all seven continents.  One family expedition, named Top to Top, is attempting the seven summits in a way that has never been done before.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

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For most climbers coming to Denali from outside of Alaska, the trip involves long hours of travel via planes and road vehicles.  For Dario and Sabine Schwörer and their children, it meant years of travel by very different means, as Dario explains.

“Just sail from one continent to the other, and then climb the highest peak in each of the seven continents…Denali was actually our second-last.” (more…)

Fatal Denali accident claims the life of Sylvia Montag

Friday, May 9, 2014

Just days into climbing season, a mountaineer has died in an accident high on Denali.  Sylvia Montag, 39, of Tacoma Washington, became separated from her climbing partner before falling nearly 1,000 feet.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

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Sylvia Montag climbing near Karstens Ridge just over a week before the fall that claimed her life on Denali. Photo via fox-challenge.de

Sylvia Montag and her climbing partner, Mike Fuchs, a 34 year old mountaineer from Berlin, Germany, were climbing near Denali Pass on May 3rd at just over 18,000 feet when the weather forced them to turn away from the summit and set up camp to shelter from the high winds.  After waiting out the weather for two days, Montag and Fuchs began their descent down the West Buttress of Denali.   (more…)

Washington climber dies in fall during early season Denali climb

Friday, May 9, 2014
Sylvia Montag and Mike Fuchs in Talkeetna around April 14, 2014

Sylvia Montag and Mike Fuchs in Talkeetna before their expedition. Photo by Mike Fuchs.

Just days into climbing season, a mountaineer has died in an an accident high on Denali.  Sylvia Montag, 39, of Tacoma Washington, became separated from her climbing partner around May 5th.  Montag and her partner, Mike Fuchs, 34, of Berlin, Germany, were climbing near Denali Pass on May 3rd at just over 18,000 feet when the weather forced them to turn back from the summit and set up camp to shelter from the high winds.  After waiting out the weather for two days, Montag and Fuchs began their descent down the West Buttress of Denali.

At 11:00 am on Monday, the National Park Service says that Fuchs reported via satellite phone that he and Montag had become separated and both had limited supplies.  Fuchs had taken shelter in a storage locker kept at High Camp, around 17,200 feet.  On Tuesday, May 6th, Fuchs called the National Park Service again and requested rescue.  He still had not heard from Montag.

High winds and poor visibility prevented the Park Service from launching its rescue helicopter on Tuesday.  Because Montag and Fuchs were climbing very early in the season, mountaineering rangers were not yet in position to help on the ground, either.  On Wednesday morning, the weather cleared enough for the rescue helicopter to launch.  Montag’s remains were spotted nearly 1,000 feet below Denali Pass.  Mountaineering rangers believe she fell while descending from the pass sometime on May 5th.  Fuchs was spotted near his camp at 17,200 feet and airlifted to base camp.  After a medical assessment, he was flown to the Talkeetna State Airport and released.

Denali base camp to be set up Thursday

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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For a few months each year, one of the busiest “airports” in Alaska isn’t technically an airport at all.  It’s Denali base camp on the Kahiltna Glacier.  The vast majority of climbers fly in from Talkeetna to the camp at just over 7,000 feet to start their trek.  On arrival, climbers are met by base camp manager Lisa Roderick.  She says her job on the mountain involves wearing multiple hats.  One of her regular tasks is calling the air services in town with current weather conditions in the Alaska Range.

“They love having a person up there that can tell them what the ever-changing conditions are doing.  As climbers fly in, I help unload the planes and just facilitate getting the planes moving and keeping things running smooth.  As the climbers are done climbing the mountain, I call there air service and get their flight out…” (more…)

Helicopter crew preps Park Service camps on Denali

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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As climbing season approaches, it means a logistical challenge for everyone involved,  including the National Park Service.   Mountaineering Rangers see to the safety of climbers throughout the season as well as ensuring that regulations are followed.  In order to do that, they need semi-permanent camps with supplies and shelter.  Many times, they are assisted by the Alaska Air National Guard, but this year is a bit different, as Ranger Joe Reichert explains.

“Because the military has been deployed, the big two-rotor aircraft you’ve seen over the past few years, the Chinooks, that typically help us out, weren’t able to this year, so we’ve been flying our loads in with this helicopter, the A-Star B3.” (more…)

Su-Valley Voice April 23rd, 2014: Denali Mountaineering

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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This week on Su-Valley voice, host Phillip Manning sat down with John Leonard, South District Ranger for Denali National Park, and Roger Robinson, Mountaineering Ranger for Denali National Park to discuss all things Denali.  Su-Valley Voice airs live every-other Wednesday at 10:00 am.  On May 7th, Phillip will be discussing borough issues with Assembly Member Vern Halter.

As spring arrives, mountaineering season ramps up

Friday, April 4, 2014

The beginning of April means the National Park Service, climbing guides, and air services are ramping up for the beginning of Denali climbing season.  A few climbers have already ventured into the range, and this year looks to be another busy one on North America’s tallest peak.

On Thursday, the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station reported that 772 climbers have registered to climb thus far.  According to Maureen Gualtieri, spokeswoman for the Park, that number is perhaps slightly above average, but definitely in the normal range.  She says that the Park Service is expecting around 1,200 climbers to make the attempt to summit Denali this year, which would be slightly higher than the 1,151 that attempted the climb last year. (more…)

Reactions to Denali’s Elevation Adjustment

Thursday, September 12, 2013

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On Wednesday, Lieutenant-Governor Mead Treadwell announced that Denali is eighty-three feet shorter than previously believed.  That means that instead of 20,320 feet, the mountain now measures in at 20,237 feet.  It’s not in any danger of losing its place as North America’s tallest peak, but there could still be some impact from the change.  In Talkeetna, Denali is big business.  Companies offer tours from the air, water, and land that promise visitors a chance at seeing the mountain that dominates the skyline.  In addition, all of the climbers who attempt to summit Denali come through Talkeetna to register with the National Park Service.  Any change involving the mountain is bound to have ripples in the community. (more…)

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