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Ade

Flying into the Elias region (Yukon)

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After Kurt's unfortunate death I gather that Gulf Air Taxi are no longer in the ski plane business. Other than Andy Williams is there anyone else flying into this region? Has anybody any actual experience with using other flight services for Elias/Logan and the surround mountains?

 

[ 11-04-2002, 11:15 PM: Message edited by: Ade ]

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Ultima Thule Outfitters (Paul Claus) routinely flys people into St. Elias and Logan. You certainly won't find a more experienced pilot (or climber, probably) in the range...

 

It might be a bit pricey to fly in, but that's the reality without the fly-around tourism that exists at Denali, as you certainly already know.

 

here's their address: http://ultimathulelodge.com/index2.htm, but you'll have to email paul to get a quote on specific locations.

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I heard that Paul Claus was banned from Canadian airspace. I don't have the details, one of the a friend of mine has been looking into it and that's what he tells me.

 

I don't know of anything wrong with Andy I'm just looking into the available options. Flying in from the South would be preferable.

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did you talk to gulf air to see whether someone was taking over kurt's biz?

 

I don't think anyone (established and reputable)on the south side would do this kind of work on a regular basis. But perhaps try to call Fishing and Flying in Cordova or Alaska Backcountry adventures (http://www.alaskabackcountry.com/) near Valdez. Both outfits have fixed-wings on skis for at least part of the year. It'd be no longer of a trip than from Ultima Thule since anyway you have to fly there. Chugach Powder guides in Cordova may have a better, less biased perspective on who might be able to do the job.

 

since Kurt is gone, my personal choice would be Andy Williams because of his experience, cost and anyway southwestern Yukon is paradise

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This spring a group of us flew into the region with a pilot who is relatively new to the area. Instead of flying into the normal area at the base of the King's Trench, we were put down in Alaska and ski'd in 8 miles to the normal LZ. We were pretty lucky with weather and snow conditions and the trek still took 2 full days.

 

The Pilot was not insured for Canada, and thus the Alaska landing site. He was quite a bit cheaper than other services and flew out of Yakatat which is simpler and cheaper to get to than White Horse. All in all it was a great experience. I'll put the name and contact information up in a day or so.

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This spring a group of us flew into the region with a pilot who is relatively new to the area. Instead of flying into the normal area at the base of the King's Trench, we were put down in Alaska and ski'd in 8 miles to the normal LZ. We were pretty lucky with weather and snow conditions and the trek still took 2 full days.

 

The Pilot was not insured for Canada, and thus the Alaska landing site. He was quite a bit cheaper than other services and flew out of Yakatat which is simpler and cheaper to get to than White Horse. All in all it was a great experience. I'll put the name and contact information up in a day or so.

 

Do you have this guy's details? Looks like I might make it myself next year.

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If you're heading into Logan Paul Claus is definately the preferred choice. He's closer than Yakutat and can tell what the weather is doing on Logan by simply looking out his window. His plane can take 6 - 8 climbers AND their equipment in a single flight. Andy, on the other hand, has to fly across the entire range before seeing the weather on Logan and his plane is limited to two climbers and gear. So when the weather window is short, Andy may or may not get everyone into base camp. And, with flyable weather being in short supply, that really limits his effectiveness.

 

I flew with Andy into Mount Steele and he was great. We were a party of two and Steele is perfectly situated for him. However, last year for Mount Logan we choose to Fly with Paul and he did a great job. and, last Spring he got us into Mount Stellar during a brief weather window and plucked us out in another limited window. He is really motivated, talented and can relate to the needs of climbers being one himself.

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Thanks,

 

I'm not heading to Logan. For the Western part of the range, Bona etc, Paul is the obvious choice just due to his geographical proximity to those peaks.

Andy may be out as leaving the US may be difficult or impossible for my climbing partner.

 

We're also considering peaks Southeast of Logan in the US so I'm trying to find air services on that side of the park to reduce flying time, weather unknowns and cost.

 

There's also http://flyglacierbay.com/ a buddy of mine flew in with him last year to Vancouver and said good things about him. He flys out of Haines. Anybody else flown with him?

 

There a couple of others I've yet to chase up including http://www.mccarthyair2.com/ .

 

Ade

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A buddy of mine flew McCarthy Air for a Mt.Blackburn trip and said never again - Paul was picking up clients while they waited, and waited, and waited..........

 

I've heard of the guy out of Haines and he seems well positioned for the Peaks SE of Logan. Mount Stellar is SW of Logan on Paul had a straight shot at it - perfect!! Still, weather is everything!

 

Good luck, I love those mountains and can't get enough of'em!!

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I once was walking along the glacier up to the Trench (actually about 3 days away from it), and Paul dropped down out of the sky in his supercub, to say "hi" and to see how we were doing...even though we didn't fly with him. Was a pretty impressive experience.

 

We did fly with a guy named Mike Ivers, who started Gulf Air. A sad deal...a few weeks after he picked us up, he flew into a peak on his way in to pick up some rafters. RIP.

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hello. i flew onto an unnamed glacier about 40 miles se of logan with wrangell mountain air. Kelly is the guys name. SUPER cool guy, came and checked on us twice just see that everything was okay. i highly recommend looking him up. i also highly recommend the area if you are looking for some firsts in a very remote setting. check out our submission in the 2001 AAJ

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Saw your TR, nice!

 

Kelly isn't flying this year, he's hoping to get someone for next year.

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Flew with Paul last week (Blackburn). We asked him about Canada and he said they raised the insurance costs and he didn't fly into Canada enough to justify paying for it. He said many people are having to fly into remote areas via helicopter (except for obvious LZ like the King Trench) and that it was costing them a small fortune.

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So it's that time of year again... I'm looking for pilots. Probably end up flying with Paul Swanstrom (http://www.flyglacierbay.com/) again unless theres someone flying out of Yakutat this year.

 

If anyone's heard of other pilots going into (or out of) business then let me know.

 

Thanks,

 

Ade

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Ade - email me at wfinley (at) couloirgraphics.com and I'll pass your contact info along to a friend who climbed Fairweather a couple years ago. I can't recall who he flew with but he'll be glad to answer your questions.

Edited by wfinley

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My group flew with Paul Swanstrom last May from Yak into the north side of Cook. Paul was great to work and definitely had solid skills.

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