Monday, December 26, 2011
The intent of our stop in Talkeetna was to learn some mountaineering skills. The class we signed up for was supposed to fly us up to a glacier on the shoulders of Mt. McKinley, where we would learn techniques for safe travel on the glacier, camping in the snow, and rescuing someone who has fallen in a crevasse.
The weather was not our ally. Due to cloud cover, we were unable to fly to the glacier for several consecutive days. So we did a lot of training exercises, which we would have done on the glacier, in and around the Alaska Mountaineering School's facility in Talkeetna - one detail of which is above.
It kind of sucked. We still learned a lot, but not as much as we would have up on the glacier, and with a severely lower fun/cool factor. The teachers were still good, but in the end we drove to a glacier between Talkeetna and Anchorage that was covered in scree and didn't really offer the high-altitude environment we were hoping to train for. We'd had great success in our endeavors on each of a ridiculous number of vacations over the last year, so I guess we were due for something to not work out just right.