McKinley: Day One - Packing in Talkeetna

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | May 02, 2007
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Today was packing day. We met for breakfast at the ‘Roadhouse’ in downtown Talkeetna at 8:00 am. If there’s one thing to remember about eating at the Roadhouse it’s to order the half size portions. The full size breakfasts are unbelievably huge.

After breakfast we met up at Hudson Air. This is where the RMI storage unit is located. Hudson Air has been in the glacier flying business for 54 years and Jay Hudson, the owner, is very accommodating to our groups. He pretty much lets us have our run of the place.

We spend the morning going through all of our personal gear. One of the things that makes Denali tough is carrying all of the gear and food you’ll need for the whole three weeks, so it pays to go through each and every item to make sure that you don’t have too much, but also that you don’t forget anything.

After a break for lunch we meet at the NPS Ranger station in Talkeetna for our orientation meeting. This is a ritual that every Denali climber must go through. The Rangers meet with us and show a slideshow of the West Buttress route. This is also where we receive our Clean Mountain Cans and bio-degradable bags for disposing of human waste.
After finishing up at the hangar in the afternoon we all adjourned to Talkeetna for our last night in town for 18 to 22 days!

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