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Flying to Alaska Day Seven, Denali Flight!

August, 2016

My weather flying luck so far has been fantastic, and the route up north was clear so I flew direct, right over the Chugach mountains and some spectacular views of Columbia, Harvard and Yale glaciers.

thor (Large)

Mt Thor perhaps, at the head of Columbia Glacier.

Columbia glacier (Large)

Harvard and Yale glaciers, up College Fjord.

Window mtns (Large)

 

I wasn’t really planning on flying near Denali because I assumed it would be covered with clouds.  However, it was clear and my 210  seemed to naturally climb and veer left until I was over the famous Ruth Glacier and Ruth Amphitheater, where most climbing assaults on Denali are staged. I tuned into the local radio frequency and listened and watched as ski planes flew below me on the way to a ski landing.  For me that was thrilling. I wanted to follow them, but it would be my first and last glacier landing.

Ruth amp (Large)

The endless granite walls of the Ruth glacier

Denali 2 (Large)

Denali!!

I stopped for the night in Nenana, a place made famous for the annual $300,000 spring derby on guessing the date, hour and minute that the river ice breaks up.  But unless you happen to be there that day at that minute, there isn’t much happening in Nenana.  I felt lucky to get decent cheese and fruit for my backpacking trip starting the next day (I already had freeze-dried food, granola, etc.), then rode my folding bike back to the airport to camp next to the plane.

The next day would take me further north, above the Arctic Circle and past the Arrigetch Peaks, to the most remote village in the US according to the US Postal service.

Next: Alaska Day Eight: Arrigetch Peaks

 

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