Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fall Helicopter Flights

The days where climbing rangers "dig deep" have finally arrived. It's time for the fall flights, where all of the human waste accumulated at both high camps, and in blue bags around the mountain, is removed. Propane tanks, construction materials, and rescue equipment are also flown around the mountain and staged for the winter.

Even though fall flights are here, autumn hardly seems to have rolled in. "Record breaking highs" have been in the recreational forecast the last couple of days, and there has even been a "red-flag" warning for fire danger inside the park. Climbers have still been summitting via the Disappointment Cleaver, Emmons/Winthrop, and the Kautz Glacier route.

Snow melting and revealing hard glacial ice around the mountain can present new challenges for climbers. Consider bringing both snow AND ice protection for crevasse rescue. Don't be afraid to throw the sharp crampons in the backpack either. Enjoy the views as the colors start to change around the park - see you on the mountain!