Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yesterday (June 2nd) Joe, Beth and myself used AMS's drop tower to test the strength of zip-ties incorporated into the the sled hauling system for expedition/glacier travel.
We were trying to determine how many zip-ties it would require to hold the static weight of a loaded expedition sled and at what point they would fail in the event of a crevasse fall.
We used two different width zip-ties as a single and a double.
After many drop tests and static loads we determined the ideal setup would be to use two of the wider zip-ties to shorten the length of the sled haul to create a breakable link in the system to allow the weight of the sled to be transfered to rope instead of continuing to pull on the climbers pack after a crevasse fall.
This system is used by a few guide company's on the mountain, and to our knowledge, has not been tested for static and dynamic loads (only live field testing).
Getting ready to drop-test the sled haul with zip-ties.
(Photo courtesy of Joe Butler)
Happy June!
Today is already the 3rd of June if you can believe it. Time is flying by up here in Talkeenta. We've been out now for almost a week from our (Todd Passey, Dusty Eroh and myself) from our successful climb of the West Buttress of Denali with Ken and Carlos. The first week of the trip was spent traveling low on the mountain in a complete whiteout. Once we made it past camp 2 at 11,200' the weather starting clearing and we had almost ideal weather for the reamainder of our trip.
On May 24th the five of us along with two other AMS (Alaska Mountaineering School) groups made a push for the summit. That afternoon all three groups made the summit and successfully descended back to high camp at 17,200'.
We'er all back safe and sound, some back to the lower 48 some still here in AK enjoying our time off until we head back up on the mountain.
The weather in Talkeetna has been incredible, lost of sun and incredible views of the mountain from the three rivers confluence (Susitna, Chulitna and Talkeetna rivers).

String of people up Motorcycle Hill leaving camp 2 @ 11,200'

Looking back on camp 3 (14,200') from the bottom of the fixed lines.

Dusty on the first section of the fixed lines above camp 3.

Looking back at the last section of the ridge before camp 4 @ 17,200'.

Looking up at Pig Hill, the last big push before the summit ridge.
Nate Opp's group is out in the distance.

Me on the summit (20,320').

360 view from the top of North America! (pardon the language)