Denali Expedition: Smith and Team Fly Onto Glacier
We did it, we flew onto the glacier! Today is a hurry to wait kind of day. In order to be the first to fly, we were the first in line for coffee. On our way to coffee we saw a fox on the railroad tracks. The last time I summited Denali, I saw a fox before flying. So I think this is a good omen. We shall see. Any who, with caffeine surging through our bodies we are ready to fly. Since our odds looked good for flying we said good bye to the flip-flops and hello to our mountain boots. These bad boys would be our mode of transportation for the next few weeks. With the planes ready for us we began shuffling our gear to the planes. Excitement rushes through you as you walk across the tarmac knowing the moment is here. Next stop the Kahiltna glacier. Seatbelts buckled, headphones on, and the smell of the engine signals its time to fly. The views are so beautiful one can not put it into words. Huntington, Foraker, Hunter, peak 11,300 and many more awe-inspring peaks keep us wide eyed and trigger happy on the camera. After a loop up the Kahiltna showing what we will walk on tomorrow we descend into basecamp with a bumpy landing. It's a quick fire line to move the gear from the plane to the glacier before watching our ride fly away. We are on our own now. We decided to bump down to the lower airstrip which gave us practice pulling the sleds. The team is in tip top shape. Once camp is set up we enjoyed some down time followed by a refresher on skills. Some gear sorting and deciding what hot drinks to bring on the mountain led us into our pizza party dinner. Why eat mountain food when you can fly on pizza! It's an early to bed for us since for the next few days we will be on the night schedule, walking during the cool part of a day.
Tomorrow is the day we take our first steps toward our goal of the summit. Here's to a great journey!
RMI Guides Hannah, Kiira, Dan and Team