Comin’ round the mountain (Mt. McKinley) in Talkeetna

In Adventure, Alaska Travelgram by scott

Don’t miss an opportunity to get high in Talkeetna. I mean really high. Like 20,320 feet high (Hmmm…..WHAT were you thinking???). 

Of course, we’re talking about your up-close view of Mt. McKinley. In an airplane. Landing on a glacier. Getting down on your hands and knees in the snow and wondering why you’re not freezing on the glacier! Below, here’s a shot of the summit of Mt. McKinley taken from the front seat as we ascend to altitude above the Tokositna Glacier. 

This is the magic of Talkeetna Air Taxi’s flightseeing trips. We took some more pictures. Very cool…

You can choose from several tours of Mt. McKinley, including a south face tour, or the Grand Denali Tour, which includes an up-close look at the north face and the Wickersham Wall (incredible!).

Our pilot, Bill, flew Talkeetna Air Taxi’s turbo-otter with 10 passengers over Kahiltna Glacier for a look at base camp–where the climbers start their ascent of Mt. McKinley. Below, here’s a shot of the Turbo Otter on the Ruth Glacier. That’s me and my brother-in-law, Bill Little. Very sharp photo by his wife, Kim Lentz. 

The Kahiltna Glacier is the largest glacier on the mountain. And Bill did an incredible job in picture-perfect weather to point out the hanging glaciers and several of the popular ascents of the mountain (he’s a climber as well as a skilled pilot). 

But the highlight of your Talkeetna Air Taxi flightseeing tour will be your glacier landing. We landed in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater on the Ruth Glacier. On all sides are sheer rock promontories that frame the glacier in stark contrasts: white on stone. 

There was another plane on the ice landing strip ready to take off as we were landing. Of course, on the glacier, you land going uphill and take off going downhill. It’s an exhilarating experience, especially in the powerful turbo-otter.

Below, here’s a shot of the Ruth Glacier as we’re flying back to Talkeetna.

Sandra White at Talkeetna Air Taxi loves the turbo-otter, which she says resembles “A bad angel returning to Heaven”. HA! This plane has a lot of power. It lifts off from the Talkeetna Airport after about 150 yards. I am not kidding. It’s smooth, fast and quiet.

Don’t miss a chance to take a flight around Mt. McKinley. And land on the glacier. You’ve got to do it! 



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