Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Attempt to Fly
We loaded our on two de Haviland Otter turbo prop single engine airplanes this morning and took off for Kahiltna Base Camp. The flight over the tundra was beautiful as we soared beneath a low ceiling of clouds. As we approached the range it became apparent that our normal access points of One Shot and Second Shot Passes were not options due to the low clouds. So the pilots opted to try “the long way”, which means accessing the Kahiltna glacier at its toe and following it up toward Base Camp. The problem was that as we gained elevation on the glacier the cloud did not, and eventually we were flying in the cloud, a thick pea soup, with very little visibility. So the team of K2 pilots made the prudent decision to turn around and head back for Talkeetna.
We spent the rest of the day on stand by to see if weather would improve. It did not, and in fact it deteriorated a little. We’ll play the same game tomorrow, with a less than ideal forecast. The good news is that high pressure looks to be moving our way soon!