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Home Forums Trip Reports Spring Descents in Denali NP, May 2008

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    Great to see that part of the range getting some action. I spent nearly ten years(93-03) from March through Oct. in that area working on the west end of the road and had enough time between work to ride some of the peaks due south of Kantishna and some other spots. Man, I was psyched to see your pics. That area has a special place in my heart. I came out of the east fork of the Tok, dead tired with a buddy and had a cariboo 50 ft to my left and a wolf about 200 ft to my right, it was….mid May??, but the sky was goin’ ape-shit with crazy colors and we both had goosebumps….what a place… Enough bullshit…rode Scotts NE Face in 95′,and the some of the hills up the east fork and some in the west fork of the Toklat, some scary shit with snow the consistancy of sugar, dry with little cohesion… Red Mtn.(I think that’s what its called, up Glacier Cr.??)…Mt. Brooks, NE Ridge…and Mt. Pendleton…fun times. If you haven’t already there are some great shots in the north and west Talkeetnas, though the snowpack is the sketchiest I’ve ever come across. Also Mt. Panorama by Cantwell is a nut flipper, when there is snow. Well, seeing as I just turned 40 yesterday, I will bow out to the next crew. Good job and thanks for the stoke.

    PS. we did em all on splits…the early shit… :mrgreen:


    stackemtight; Thanks man, thats great to know. Its way too high profile a place to not have somebody droppin something out there. I met this old school bus driver who was talking in a similar fashion as you are, i am spacing out his name though. I would have been all about Scott, Pendelton, Brooks (you skied the NE ridge route?), if I had the time for longer missions and had partners that were down. My whole TR was geared towards one-day trips from the park road. This spring I am may try something longer if I can find someone to ski with.

    I am not sure what Red Mountain is, but know where glacier creek is. But yeah, there is a ton of amazing potential in those all 3 of the Toklat valleys. I think things really are quite sketchy in AK range though, w/ that depth hoar, scariest I have ever seen.

    Panorama? yep, I bailed on the North cirque of that one (nice looking couloirs all over there). But DEF> wanna go back! Access seems quite easy, compared to the park road, but the first 1/2 mi. of the approach is now Native Corp. land, so sorta a bitch. The other line I really wanted to get on, right across the road, and the Nenana river, from Panorama, is marked “Cleft” on the map. Its the north facing cirque of left leaning diagonal shelfs. Familiar with it? The river is the major obstacle which thwarted me on that. Still have not given up though. Maybe pack raft it next season.

    Thanks for checking it out.


    The river is the major obstacle which thwarted me on that. Still have not given up though. Maybe pack raft it next season.

    Sorry for the sidetrack but Bridgerhippy did a couple seasons on the nenana and has some pretty freakin crazy riverboarding video from there. i would love to make it up to ak sometime, and the possibilities for pack raft trips seems pretty endless.


    oh yeah, we could use packrafts as exits from lines that require long approaches, basically hoof it in, stash the pack rafts, ride lines, then throw everything in a boat and send it out in a flash! would be sick! the nenana thing would be simply to cross the river and then climb this really good peak, and of course use the raft to get back across the river on return.


    I spent many summers in Denali in the late 90’s and have packrafted the Nenana among other criks in the park, even scouted the McKinley river bar in ’06, as I continue to pilgrimage back to the park multiple times every season. It is nice to hear about all the park rat info in this thread. Currently, I have a pack kayak which serves me well for my AK excursions. I would be interested if you are serious about further attempts back in the park this spring. I am looking to do a some AK Range mid winter riding from the south side (Cantwell) this season and have aspirations to fly out of Talkeetna into basecamp and do some lines in the Denali Massif area as well. This season is the first season the park service is allow ski guided tours on Denali. Currently, I am more interested in non-guided descents in and around the massif.

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