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Fairweather

Redoubt & Iliamna Volcanoes

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I had a nice view of these two mountains on my way to Homer a couple years ago. I've read the (very) basic route descriptions in the new Alaska Climbing Guide, but is there anyone out there with any first or second hand info? Access, route conditions, best time of year, time on mountain, etc.

 

Thanks

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Iliamna! boy, I dont have first hand info but its a dream of mine. A man named Paul Crews got the first ascent in six days of June 1958. I found his report in 1959 AAJ. They started at Chinitna Bay and bushwhacked in there, camped at 5000 or so, summited in whiteout.

 

I plan to go in there someday so I got inspired and called him. Nice guy, seemed glad to talk to me. His AAJ report mentioned rafting out down the creek so on the phone I asked him about it - whats this about rafting out down the creek? He said Yeah, bushwhacking in there was hard so on the way out they got a bunch of driftwood and lashed it together with their climbing ropes. They then got some long branches to use as poles. They piled their packs on then jumped on and away they went! He said it worked pretty good, got stuck only a few times. bigdrink.gif

 

I asked Denali NP ranger Roger Robinson about Iliamna one time. He said he had tried it but turned around due to weather. He then looked at me in the eye and said "More bears than I've ever seen anywhere in Alaska." shocked.gif

 

I spoke to Paul Claus (Ultima Thule Outfitters) about it last year. He said its great to fly in there in winter and ski.

 

I know the AK Climbing Guide (dont get me started madgo_ron.gif) says to fly in there to the Tongue Glacier, and I see a place to land on the map and all. But when I go I plan to follow the first ascent route starting at Chinitna Bay.

 

 

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Here is a great book about climbing in the area that includes route beta as well as an overall history of climbing in the area. I would bet that fewer than 200 people have ever gone climbing there. Tordrillo: Pioneer Climbs and Fights in the Tordrillo Mountains of Alaska by Rod Wilson, Paul Crews and Lowell Thomas Jr."

It is kind of hard to find though. May try checking with mountaineering club of alaska

www.mcak.org.

cheers!

 

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Thanks DKemp and Dubya,

 

I recently got hold of a video titled "Tommy Moe's Alaska Adventures". One of the segments is a climb of Iliamna Volcano, and a ski descent! Incredible video shots. The climb looks very straightforward. These folks flew in to Tongue Glacier. The logo on the plane's tail reads "Talkeetna Air Taxi". I haven'

t contacted them yet, but this area seems a little bit out of their traditional territory. I did get a reply from another air taxi service that will land here, but he wants a LOT of $$$$. He'll also land on Drift River gravel bars for Redoubt Volcano. This is much cheaper. It sounds cheaper to do Iliamna the hard way.

 

My summer 2003 schedule isn't looking very good for anything that takes longer than 9 or 10 days. ...Not looking good for this year ....unless I quit my job. (!)

Edited by Fairweather

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Fairweather,

My buddies flew with TAT a couple of years ago into that area. Actually we always fly with Paul (TAT owner). If I remember correctly it was around $450 for him to fly down from Talkeetna and pick them up in anchorage then drop them off on the ice. Pretty pricey. It would probably be a good idea to shop around a bit with Anchorage/Girwood area pilots. Plus that makes it easier if you have to wait for good weather. Good luck!

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I got that Tordrillo book - its fantabulous. Inspiring to say the least.

 

FYI, a few years ago I put a team together and hired TAT to take us to the Tongue. We never got off the ground and frankly I felt jerked around by Paul Roderick. Long story but we got the feeling that he never really intended to deliver us to Iliamna but instead to convince us to go where he wanted - in other words, a milkrun to the Kahiltna. Frustrated, we got the heck out of there and went to the Chugach. I aint one to hold a grudge but there aint no love lost 'tween me a TAT.

 

Now I'm glad it didnt work out. We had a great time on the Eklutna Glacier and besides, next time I get a group together to go to Iliamna I'll just floatplane from Anchorage to Chinitna Bay and start at sea level. 10,016 feet of vertical excitement!

 

 

 

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Is there any truth to the story that somebody once flew some old tires up to the top of Redoubt, set them afire, and that the smoke plume was seen from town which led to there being an announcement that there was an eruption in progress?

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That's not how I heard it. You're such a bumbling wanker that you couldn't decide or were too scared to be flown out to Iliamna because of its remoteness. Paul explained to you that there was a chance that you could get stuck out there for a while because of the weather and you folded. He was simply giving you options as to where you might feel a little more comfortable. Obviously the Eklutna traverse, complete with huge backcountry huts and plenty of other fellow mountain neophytes, was more your speed.

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I've heard that story, but I think it was another mountain. Redoubt seems a bit remote for that kind of hyjinx. smile.gif Besides, it has actually erupted in the late 80'S I believe.

 

A "mountain hyjinx" (sp) thread would be awsome!

 

Some others I have heard:

 

A "female pleasure device" left in a Mazama summit register.

A small Christmas tree left on top of Rainier.

 

 

...urban legend or real?...you decide.

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Hey iammo!

Dkemp's CC bio: has a website, photos, email address. Additionally he offers info/advice, and valuable opinions.

 

You, on the other hand, sound like a real piece of work.

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Mattp, the eruption hoax you mentioned was mt edgecumbe (sp?) in southeast alaska. I saw a story with a photo in Alaska Geographic. It was an April Fools Day prank - I think its hilarious.

 

Fairweather - thanks.

 

Iammo - lets go for a beer together and talk about it. Or better yet, lets go for a beer together and talk about better stories. Shoot me an email - hope to hear from you soon.

 

Dox

 

 

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Iammo - lets go for a beer together and talk about it. Or better yet, lets go for a beer together and talk about better stories. Shoot me an email - hope to hear from you soon.

 

Dox

 

 

wow...class-act reply dox, if I do say so myself. bigdrink.gif doxey, do you climb with a gentleman by the name of seth pollack? I think I recognize your name from his photo collection or something.

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I have the pleasure to report that Seth Pollack is one of my best friends. He and I have climbed together all over the Cascades and have visited Alaska together on four occasions. He is at this moment trekking in Patagonia. What a guy.

 

If you havent seen it, dont miss his photo website. He put a lot of effort into it and its very cool.

 

http://www.pollackphoto.com/home.htm

 

Dox

 

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