Thursday, June 19, 2008

Big Expedition for Cancer Research Dispatch

AAI Guide Dawn Glanc is currently on an expedition to raise awareness on cancer research. We just got this email from their expedition:

  • Team Moves Across Icefield after meeting the “Visitor”
  • On Monday, June 16, the four mountaineers on the Big Expedition for Cancer Research were on the Brady Icefield and picking up their pace toward base camp. Via satellite phone, Matt Farmer, who likes to be called Farmer, said that the team was in good shape and moving toward the Southeast corner of the icefield where they will get their first look at Peak 8290 from the ground.

  • Since arriving at Reid Inlet on Saturday, the team has had two good days for travel. On Saturday, they moved all their gear approximately 1.5 miles up to the top of Reid Glacier. The terrain was too steep to use their sleds so they each had to make three round trips with only their packs to reach their first overnight camp.

  • Not 5 minutes after they brought their last load to the campsite, the “Visitor” appeared. Remember the bear that the Park Service told them about? He poked his head up over the moraine not 50 feet away and just looked at them. The team grabbed every pot, pan and noisemaker they could find and began beating, banging and screaming at the top of their lungs. Mr. Bear just looked on in amazement. Fortunately, in this remote location, the “Visitor” hasn’t really seen any humans so he probably was watching the team make each carry during the day wondering what in the world they were doing. Regardless, after observing for awhile, he sauntered off and was not seen again.

  • Great precautions were taken that first night. No fire. No cooking. Only cold food for dinner. The food was buried and every crumb picked up. There was surely one eye open at all times that night.

  • Sunday, Day Two on the glacier, was a glorious and sunny. There was still some elevation to deal with so the team still was not moving at top speed. In spite of that, they covered almost three miles and enjoyed a great day in the Fairweather Range.

  • Thus far, the Big Expedition has gone according to plan…except for the “Visitor”. Everyone is healthy. The gear is working and they are bearing down on their base camp location. More to come.

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