April 28, 2014

Cycling to base of Denali

More pics here!
2014-03-18_usa_alaska_sea-to-denali_meadow-lakes-elementary-school.JPGMeadow Lakes elementary school


Sabine and Dario cycled from Whittier to Anchorage and back. Sabine went back to our kids on Pachamma, while Dario was busy visiting schools and was invited at the KTVA morning -TV show in Anchorage. Watch the morning show.


- Many thanks to Rayna and David's family offering us to stay at their house in Anchorage! -


Martin joined Dario from Anchorage to cycle further to the base of Denali, -read his report:

"Being a lifelong Alaskan I was excited when asked to join Dario's TOPtoTOP expedition for his Denali climb. Naturally we started from sea level in Anchorage, via bicycle. The 26" of fresh snow we got dumped on the first morning were a bit discouraging, but regardless we set out for Talkeetna and were happy to have mountain bikes. In summertime Anchorage and Alaska in general is pretty bike friendly, but winter is a different story. Bike paths are not maintained and the edge of the road is the only option, a dangerous proposition on a highway with snow piled on either side. We made it to Willow that first day and stayed the night with my cousin. After a wonderful meal we went to sleep early, as we were starting at six the following morning.

2014-03-16_usa_alaska_sea-to-denali_dario-ptersville-road.JPGOne hundred miles later we had reached the Petersville Road, where we would begin the ski to Denali base camp. Today Dario had his first view of the central Alaska Range. Mt Hunter, Mt Foraker and of course Denali are spectacular when seen from the South. That evening we returned to Talkeetna in order to discuss our route with the Denali park rangers as well as some local climbers. Local knowledge would be key for our attempt to ski from Petersville to Denali base camp, as this route is rarely traveled. The vast majority of climbers fly directly to Denali base camp from Talkeetna. To approach the mountain by ski is a long journey that covers difficult terrain and requires bushwacking and extensive glacier travel. The rangers and two long-time Alaska Range climbers, Brian Okanek and Willi Pritti, were a great help. Thanks to them we were now outfitted with maps and sleds to haul our gear across the tundra and glaciers leading up to base camp.


On the cycling back to Anchorage we did a total of 6 school presentations: Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, Winterberry Charter School, Bartlett high-school, Meadow Lakes elementary school, 2 times Susitna high school

2014-03-17_usa_alaska_sea-to-denali_high-school-talkeetna-kathy.JPGSusitna high school Talkeetna

More pics here.

Back on Pachamama we set off for visiting schools and clean ups:
In Port Gravina we spotted many whales on the hering. There was so much wildlife activity, - just great!
2014-04-15_usa_alaska-pws-tatiklik_native-village.JPGInvitation by David Totemoff, chief of Tatiklik.
2014-04-15_usa_alaska-pws-tatiklik_native-village_school -presentation_02.JPGIn the school in Tatiklik we did a school presentation. It is about 45nm from Cordova.

2014-04-11_usa_alaska-cordova_geburi-salina_08.JPGSalina had her birthday on the 11th of April and got 9 years old and just before Salina and Andri got first and second places at the Banana swimming contest in Valdez. See pics here!
2014-04-14_usa_alaska-pws_virgin-bay_07.JPGPachamama in Virgin Bay

Posted by dario at 10:19 PM