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JDCH

Food on the Ruth Glacier

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Howdy!

 

So I'm heading to the Ruth in early April, and was fishing around the interwebs for some cooking ideas, when i saw a video of an expedition where people brought a full propane tank, complete with 2 burner stoves, etc etc and had RIBs one night, as well as standard expedition fare.

 

That being said, it looks like TAT doesn't allow propane tanks on the plane. What's the go to set up if i want to eat well and avoid freeze dried crap.

 

Thoughts? Experiences?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by JDCH

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Propane is strictly prohibited on all passenger aircraft. Dot rules, or maybe IATA, but not TAT policy. None of the carriers should allow you to take it on.

 

That said, I know a guy who knows a guy, if you catch my drift, who enjoyed fresher grilled brauts over a propane Coleman stove in the range a few years ago. That said, the same guy would probably bring a white gas Coleman stove next time and stay legal.

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You could probably live for free on the Kahiltna scrounging climbers leftover food when they leave. Probably not the Ruth though.

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The Ruth is a car camping trip...meaning you don't have to move your stuff more than 200 feet from the runway. Bring a few gallons of white gas and two stoves and you can cook whatever you want. Eat like you do at home. There's no reason to be eating freeze dried meals at basecamp.

 

I routinely fly in with several dozen eggs (freeze them before you fly in), salmon fillets, steaks, tons of Costco bagged meals (like Ling Ling, ravioli, etc.) Hell, fly in with King crab legs. The only limitation to your menu is your imagination, budget and desire to cook in the cold.

 

You pay $1/pound over 125 pounds/person with the air taxis, so plan accordingly.

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I ate ridiculously well in 1981 and 1982 in the Alaska Range -- carried a pressure cooker, raw beans & split peas, raw grains, real vegetables, canned meats. Pressure cooker and skillet (for making flatbreads like chapatis or tortillas, and of course bacon) no special stove - we used an MSR XGK, which at that time was the Rolls Royce of mountaineering stoves, but pretty much any stove should work, since you just bring the cooker to pressure and then just let it sit. I made split-pea & ham soup from scratch for a potluck at the 14000' medical clinic, which Peter Hackett actually remembered thirty years later when I talked with him a couple of years ago...

can't figure why propane shouldn't fly, since they fly the pressurized butane-mix canisters. my brother-in-law and I have flown propane tanks in for fly-in float trips in the Brooks range, never been an issue. might be worth asking other air services...

one pleasant thing about MSR's multi-fuel stoves -- if you're a cheap dirtbag like we were, they will burn regular unleaded gas at about half the price of Coleman or Blazo (Chevron's version), even cheaper than propane I think...

another wonderful thing about pressure cookers is you can cook real food at any altitude, whereas at Plaza de Mulas on Aconcagua, (14000' "basecamp") I met folks who couldn't understand why their rice wouldn't cook. (at 20,000 I was comfortably stirring boiling tea for a partner with my bare finger)

there's a reason pressure cookers are the standard in the Himalaya -- all the "basecamps" are too high to cook with anything else...

if you really want ribs, or other barbecue, just fly in a couple of bags of charcoal and a firepan.

-Haireball

 

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This is all great news. Thank you for the input, I am now even more pumped for this trip, which i didnt think was possible.

 

While i've got your attention, what temp sleeping bags did you guys bring for base camp livin? I have a 20, and -20, i feel like 0 would be ideal, but id rather not buy a new bag, and -20 feels like overkill. Will i be cold in a 20?

 

And while I'm at it, any other unsolicited advice for my first foray into the Ruth is also welcome.

 

Thanks!

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Well I'm going early April... Like April 1... Suggestions for ideal temp rating John?

 

what sort of night time temps have you seen there?

 

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as big of a floorless-style tent as you can find,

 

coleman 2 burner white gas stove,

 

real cooking utensils (get at thrift store in ANC)

 

rubbermaid storage boxes to store food in, clear so you can see what is in it.

 

extra closed cell foam pads for pot holders, seats, etc.

 

big soup pot for melting snow

 

3 person tent to yourself

 

Ipad w/ tv shows

 

 

Edited by christophbenells

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Though the temps might be around 0 at best bring the -20 bag. You can always open it up a bit.

 

As others have said, bring lots of good food and eat well. Bring a tent for each person/couple, chairs, also it might sound silly a cooler to keep things from really freezing.

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Well I'm going early April... Like April 1... Suggestions for ideal temp rating John?

 

what sort of night time temps have you seen there?

 

I usually take a 0 for basecamp. The -20 is probably the safe bet unless you can borrow a 0 from someone.

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I'd also recommend the -20. While a bit higher up, I had below zero temps on the west fork in early may last year. April will be a bit colder I should think.

 

And yes, it is almost a car camping trip...

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