KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

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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

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…)

Writer’s Voice–Ski signature on Huascarán, by Willi Prittie

Sunday, April 27, 2014

 

 

Mountain guide Willi Prittie remembers an exhilarating descent on Peru’s highest peak.

Audio is 9:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Skis chatter. . .steel edges fight to carve a path across wind-hammered rime ice and sastrugi.  My breath comes ragged and painful, and increasingly short as I fight for control to link my next turn.  Unfamiliar skis and boots are uncooperative, as uncooperative as this thin air is in filling lungs and powering muscles!  Fear taints my cold sweat as I stare down into dark, cold, eternity flashing by to each side of me.  (more…)

Fatality on Denali

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The National Park Service is reporting  A 59-year-old German mountaineer suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at the 13,500-foot level of Mt. McKinley on the evening of Sunday, May 19.   Klaus Bielstein of Muenster, Germany was ascending the West Buttress route as a member of an 11-person Alpine Ascents International guided expedition. (more…)

KTNA anniversary audio–Betty Menard’s mountaineering first

Friday, May 3, 2013

KTNA is celebrating 20 years broadcasting to the Upper Susitna Valley by bringing you audio broadcast during the past two decades. We share the past with you on 88.9 FM every Friday at 12:35.

This week, one of a series of stories about women on Denali that KTNA news producer Johanna Eurich recorded in 1997. In this segment, Johanna talks to former Trapper Creek resident Betty Menard, who, at 21, became the first Alaska Native woman to climb Denali, earning her a page in mountaineering history.

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Betty Menard now spends most of her time in sunnier climes.

KTNA anniversary audio–Nuggets: The Climbers’ Memorial

Friday, April 19, 2013

KTNA is celebrating 20 years broadcasting to the Upper Susitna Valley by bringing you audio broadcast during the past two decades. We’re sharing the past with you  on 88.9 FM and our stream every Friday at 12:35.

This week, a Nuggets program from 2008, produced and hosted by volunteer Maureen McLaughlin, about the history and relevance of the Climber’s Memorial at the Talkeetna Cemetery. She talks to Brian Okonek and Colby Coombs. Audio is 25 minutes.

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In 2009, four more names were added to the memorial, in 2010, another four; in 2011, nine people lost their lives in the Alaska Range. Ten different nations were represented during those years.

Six more climbers’ names will be added to the wall for 2012 during the ceremony on Saturday April 20th.

 

 

 

 

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