Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Denali Ice Agers on the Move

The Ice Agers (an older group of Denali Expedition climbers) have arrived in Alaska!

Alaska Program Coordinator Coley Gentzel has also just arrived in Alaska, and has sent us a quick update to let everyone know that "the Ice Ager's Expedition is off to a grand start here in Anchorage. The orientation and gear check went smooth like butter, and we have just returned from a lovely dinner (see photo below) courtesy of the Snow Goose restaurant here in Anchorage. As we have known for some time know, the group is well prepared and outside of a few odds and ends, the gang is ready for the transition to Talkeetna. Weather permitting, we will also head for the glacier tomorrow."

The team enjoys their dinner at the Snow Goose restaurant in Anchorage

"I think most folks will wander down to Peggy's restaurant for a 6:00am breakfast before catching the shuttle to Talkeetna at 7:00am tomorrow. The "continental" breakfast here at the hotel is well, more proof that the term "continental" must be french for less than exciting!"

"We are still awaiting the arrival of Jack Strickland, the final arrival on the expedition. He is to arrive in another hour or two, fresh from his daughter's graduation in Texas. As long as he gets in as scheduled, we will be on the road as of 7:00am tomorrow. We will make a brief pit stop in Wasilla enroute to Talkeetna. I don't know about the rest of the gang, but I will be looking forward to a cup of Alaska best coffee there, roasted locally by the Kaladi Brothers here in Anchorage."

The team walks around Anchorage and prepares for their departure to Talkeetna Monday morning

"At this point, you must be wondering why you are getting the dispatch from me. I am, for the day, an honorary Ice Ager's team member. I was able to meet up with the group for some socializing and dinner and will be hitching a ride to Talkeetna in the morning. It was great for me personally to finally meet and connect with folks that I have, in some cases, been working with for years. Ron Goodman, Art Huseonica, and Bob Baker have not been far from my daily work for quite a few years now. Seeing this team come together and start to coalesce and make progress is a fantastic reminder of the meaning behind what we as a company do. This is a great group of men and they are all here for the "right" reasons - to have a good time, further friendships, and to work together to try to accomplish this enormous task."

Team member Art Huseonica trains for Denali by pulling heavy loads on the beach

"The Alaska sun is still shining brightly despite the late hour, and we have an early morning tomorrow - goodbye for now." - Coley Gentzel

Please see the AAI Dispatches page for recent dispatches from all our teams on Denali!

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