Alaska Range Additions and Corrections

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PellucidWombat - Jun 15, 2006 11:55 pm - Voted 10/10

Some helpful links

Dirk, this site is a good one for looking up information on Talkeetna:

Some other things to mention - Talkeetna Air Taxi had been pretty stict on weight limits with our trip organizer in the past, and he felt that they acted rather condescending to his party. K2 treated us very well, were very courteous, and were willing to let us slide by being only a few pounds over their limit.

For weather - be prepared for warmer temperatures as well. When we were there we had highs in the 50s and 60s on the glacier. Obviously, this only holds for the lower altitudes in the range.

For recommended climbing periods at lower elevations (e.g. Ruth Gorge), plan on March-early May for snow/ice. Beginning early May it is likely to be too hot for mixed snow/ice/rock routes to be 'in' or safe, and climbing from May-June should be expected to be limited to pure rock routes.

One suggestions if you're coming to do a mixed route in May - bring a large trad rack and rock shoes - if the weather is too hot the trip can still be salvaged by being flow over to Little Switzerland for some alpine trad routes.


PellucidWombat - Jun 15, 2006 11:57 pm - Voted 10/10

more info

West Rib Cafe and Pub is a great hangout. Their fish and chips are to die for and they have an excellent brew called the Ice Axe, which is something around 9% alcohol and it tastes sweet!


PellucidWombat - Jun 16, 2006 12:05 am - Voted 10/10

Red Tape

Even if you're not climbing Foraker and Denali, you need to stop by the National Park station in Talkeetna to pay a park service fee, as you will still be entering the park. Have no fear, though, as most of the fees stay in the local system, so you are directly benefitting the area you will be climbing in.

Also, Clean Mountain Cans (CMCs) are required on any climbing trip to dispose of toilet paper and shit. You pick these up at the National Park Headquarters. At the end of your climb, they have a separate location at the station where you drop the cans off.


PellucidWombat - Jun 16, 2006 12:11 am - Voted 10/10

Staying in the Don Sheldon Mountain House

The following information is courtesy of By ELIZABETH MANNING
Anchorage Daily News(Published: April 20, 2003) and was found at:

If you really want to get into the mountains and have good backcountry skills, a high-altitude option is Don Sheldon's Mountain House. It affords a room with a view like nowhere else. Built by the pilot at the 6,000-foot level of Mount McKinley on a rock and ice outcrop of the Ruth Glacier, the hut is now rented out by his wife, Roberta Sheldon. Sitting on a five-acre inholding inside Denali National Park and Preserve, it is primitive but offers bunks and a wood stove. Cost is $85 a night for groups of five or less plus about $300 per person to get there aboard a ski plane. The rate for groups of six or more is $100 per day. The cabin comfortably sleeps about five or six. Larger groups usually use the cabin as a base and sleep outside in tents.

Because the season is so short (March through mid-July), visitors are now booking a year in advance, according to Roberta Sheldon. She said she screens all potential guests to make sure they are comfortable in the backcountry.

"I wouldn't put the average tourist off the street there," she said.

Visitors should also be mentally flexible. You can expect solitude at the cabin, but on rare occasions you may find yourself sharing the space with pilots or climbers who are weathered in. This doesn't happen often, but several years ago, a honeymooning couple flying into the cabin got stranded for a couple of days with a university class plus two pilots.

"This poor couple," Sheldon said. "I don't think they had a very good time."

Those interested in renting the mountain house should write Roberta Sheldon at P.O. Box 292, Talkeetna 99676


PellucidWombat - Jun 16, 2006 12:15 am - Voted 10/10

Talkeetna Night Life

The Fairview Inn just re-opened in Talkeetna after being shut down for several years. For those who like a lively night life, they have a bar and live music. Some might consider this the seedier side of Talkeetna, but what a party!


PellucidWombat - Jun 16, 2006 12:18 am - Voted 10/10

Tips for the Air Taxis

Its probably easiest to buy your fuel from them when you arrive in Talkeetna - or you can truck up your own fuel purchased in Anchorage. I don't know about the other services, but K2 rents snowshoes.

Fuel and sharp objects should be packed separately from the rest of the gear for loading into the plane. The services prefer gear to be packing in duffels and bags, and it is more convenient for them if you can give them a lot of small duffels that contain gear thay you have brought up in a larger case, rather than larger, heavier, single bags. There is a weight limit per bag and an overall team weight limit which includes the weight of the climbers. Exceeding this limit will incur additional costs. Please check with the air taxi used to find out what their weight limits are.


Diggler - Jun 22, 2006 3:16 pm - Hasn't voted

got your additions, Mark.

Will add them in shortly, when I have some time!

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