Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The High Point of our Alaskan Adventure

Warning: this post is overloaded with pictures. Between us we took 400+, culled them down to 200+, then Craig and I had to choose which to share.

Our big adventure was to be a 2 1/2 hour flight around Denali summit, with a glacier landing on Wednesday. 

I placed this image first in the post because Facebook picks up the first picture to feature. It was taken well into our flight, it reminded us of Kool Whip.

When I saw the rain forecast for our reserved day, I tried calling to see if we could move it up, but was told there were no open seats.

After our boat ride, we went for a walk downtown, and passed the K2 office. Good thing, because we got seats on one of the flights  for that afternoon. When I talked to our pilot later, I learned they had put on extra planes for the day.

Long rambling paragraphs cannot do justice to what we saw, so here are some of the pictures we took.

It was fascinating to see the river-like routes the glaciers take. They looked like multicolored ribbons.

This shot was from much higher up, and we could see a glacier going down either side. Craig says they looked like freeways.

From the direction of the shadows, this is the southwest face of Mount Denali. There are 5 or 6 separate snow-fields in this picture in August, which means they will probably persist through the summer, which is the main attribute of glaciers.  But are they big enough to be considered separate glaciers?

What keeps this snow on the side of this peak?  It looks like it should have slid long ago!

On the other hand, these peaks have lost almost all their snow.  Aren't they amazingly sharp? 

A fluffy layer of clouds was gathering on the west side of the range as we flew around. 

I think this one was trying to be a mountain peak.

After a while you start to see things up there. Like the tail of a giant sleeping lizard.

We got as close to the face of Denali as we could without being climbers! Good thing we had an excellent pilot. I felt safe most of the time. 

But as we descended for our glacier landing, I felt uneasy as I noticed how rough and small the glacial patches seemed. 

But we turned and before us was a long, relatively smooth glacier. Our pilot measured the snow with an avalanche pole and told us there was about twelve feet of 2016-17 snow on top of the glacier ice.

The glacier was in a valley so we were in shadow, but the low sun on the surrounding minor peaks was amazing.

And finally these pictures of us with the oxygen masks we wore while over 12,000 feet. Craig looks like he is in photographer heaven!

So, if you find yourself in Talkeetna, Alaska on a nice day, go fly  to the peak of Denali with K2. 

For us it was a trip of a lifetime!


  1. Wow. Gorgeous photos! What a great experience! Glad you were able to change your reservation to that beautiful day.

  2. Now that is one amazing flight you had and the photos awesome, thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow. You really outdid yourselves,this time. Breathtaking photos, amazing experience. Wow oh wow.

  4. fantastic! Good job with the photos.

  5. Wow what beautiful pictures, I felt like I was right there with you.

  6. WOWEE! Those are FANTASTIC photos! You should submit them somewhere! thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Wow! What fantastic adventures you are having! Your photos are amazing. Thank you for sharing your trip.

  8. Amazing photographs, look at the crystal blue sky! What a memorable experience to have while in Alaska.

  9. Thanks for sharing! Definitely on my bucket list, maybe next year?

  10. The Glacier landing was our highlight of the trip. When we went up, they hadn't been able to land the whole day so we were pleasantly surprised when we landed. Your photos are much better than mine. I kept looking at everything and got caught up in the views and didn't get as many photos.

  11. Wow what a great experience and such a different perspective on Denali. Amazing photographs.

  12. Very lucky to get a K2 ride on a walk in on such a beautiful day. Great pictures.

  13. Holy moley! How incredible of a day for you two.


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