Passing of a Great Guy
What could bring me back to SP? A discussion of one of the greatest bush pilots that ever took off from Talkeetna, and an iconic figure in Alaskan alpinism.
While planning a trip for this coming season, I learned that Jay had passed away in December from cancer.
My memories of Jay involve a single trip where he flew us onto the West Fork of the Ruth, breaking me into alpinism and giving me an awesome education of the area as we flew.
I've seen a few pics around SP of Hudson, and as I have only one trip's worth of time with Jay, I'd invite you guys who knew him better to add to this (or even replace it...I know I can't do justice to the memories a guy like Jay must have inspired in poor suckers who were stuck on the Ruth, the Tok, or the Kahiltna, waiting out the weather, only to hear the faint buzz of salvation and see his plane, the plane which meant a $2 shower and a greasy burger were now only two hours away).
Back With Hudson for Husdon's Last Season
When I called and talked with Ollie, the wife of the late Cliff Hudson and the mother of Jay Hudson, she told me of the above tradgedy. My climbing partners and I decided to still go with Hudson as they still had a rock-solid reputation for taking care of climbers and not letting flight-seeing tourists take precidence.
Dave and Jacques, two pilots who weren't even working for Husdon Air when I had flown with them in 2001, proved instantly that they were about taking care of climbers as we were the first plane out of the hangers when the weather broke.