A Little Fun at 11,000 Feet

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | June 3, 2010      

Are we not skiers? Is this not snow?

Denali Pow!

Denali Pow!

Skiing on Denali above 11,000 foot camp. Only about 500 vert to play on here, and it's a fun break. Camp is the specs below.

Skiing on Denali above 11,000 foot camp. Only about 500 vert to play on here, and it's a fun break. Camp is the specs below.

Our tracks.

Our tracks.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


15 Responses to “A Little Fun at 11,000 Feet”

  1. Matus June 3rd, 2010 10:26 am

    Good luck to all folks under Denali! Keep warm and say hello to the Slovak team (they are planning to reach the summit until Monday, without skis).

  2. Steph Helfenbein June 3rd, 2010 11:29 am

    Cheese and Tyler-
    Good to see the posts and see that things are going well. Thinking of you while sitting at my computer in a stinking office. Make some turns for me…you can keep the climbing for yourselves!

  3. Matt Kinney June 3rd, 2010 11:37 am

    More powder on the way as the NWS is calling for heavy snow with up to one foot possible at those elevations. That will make things prettier. Enjoy.

  4. Shannon Williams June 3rd, 2010 11:51 am

    Ty- Snow looks awesome and you guys don’t look like you’re tooooo cold! Ski pics look great!

  5. Michael Kennedy June 3rd, 2010 12:09 pm

    So much for the rest day … have fun, take it slow, makes lots of turns. You’ll get there when you need to.

  6. ScottN June 3rd, 2010 1:18 pm

    Very cool. Thanks again for sharing your journey up there.

  7. Perry June 3rd, 2010 3:19 pm

    Those pics are awesome. Wishing it was winter here again

  8. JR Udall June 3rd, 2010 4:58 pm


    Give us a detailed post once in awhile about the rigors of
    attempting Denali in your 50s.

    After I heard you were giving it a shot, I was really envious–and
    quite curious about how your body responded, recovered, and
    so forth.

    It’s great to hear that Beckey is still out and about in his 80s.
    Up high, maybe you can off-load a few kilos on to the young

    Cheers and good luck,


  9. Bob Power June 3rd, 2010 6:30 pm

    The beginning of Motorcycle Hill, correct?

  10. Dave B. June 3rd, 2010 6:47 pm

    What JR Udall said

  11. Mark W June 3rd, 2010 7:26 pm

    Nice turns. It is not all hauling.

  12. Bill Bostick June 4th, 2010 7:55 am

    Mary and I are lovin’ this! Glad to see the skiing fun mixed in with the toil of freight hauling.

  13. pioletski June 4th, 2010 10:22 am

    Nice signatures guys!

  14. Jeff Paffendorf June 4th, 2010 12:09 pm

    A little motorcycle Hill ski session – love it!

  15. Lou June 23rd, 2010 12:27 pm

    Hey JR and all,

    My old bod did surprisingly well all things considered. Key was probably the 6 months of very deliberate prep I did before the trip. I worked out religiously, but didn’t over-do it. Some guys go up there way too fit and skinny. It’s best to have good cardio and good upper body strength, but be rested and not over-trained.

    I didn’t talk about it as I don’t like to blog about my physical problems here, but I had a knee scope just about three months ago and Dr. Adams of Ortho Associates really stepped up to the plate, doing the minimum required to fix a crazy problem I had (a plica), but not overdoing it. I also had both knees injected with Orthovisk about a month before the trip.

    Another key was a good vitamin and supplement program, but again not over done.

    While our expedition was not the lightest ever done, we did have fairly lightweight gear considering that we didn’t skimp on things like our cook tent, and food. Thus, it was possible to still haul our blog gear and for the guys to help me with some of my weight now and then.

    Of course I also found that I needed lots of rest days while on the mountain. But that was expected.

    Biggest problem was that I lost too much leg strength while doing the two week road trip. I enjoyed the road trip, but looking back, it was probably a bad idea for an old guy. While on the mountain for the first week I was having a lot of trouble with the skiing because of weak legs, and never really felt like I got on top of my planks in more than survival ski mode, which was somewhat embarrassing for me since I’m supposed to know how to ski!

    So best advice to guys my age is to be fit but not a skeleton when you go, get medical problems fixed, travel as light as you can, get help from some younger folks, and don’t drive up from the lower 48. A rather larger med kit with plenty of ibu, aspirin is key as well.

    Oh, as for drugs, I quit taking Celebrex while on the mountain because it does give me an irregular heartbeat now and then. I used some Diamox half doses for a few days at 14,200, and during summit day. i used Xanex a couple of times to get back on a normal sleep schedual. I took ginko every day just in case it would help with the altitude, and DHEA along with my vitamins every morning, along with a daily asprin to prevent thrombosis, which my father did get so I figured I could possibly be pre-disposed to.

    I was super careful with hydration, and used quite a bit of Cytomax. I didn’t use caffeine regularly, I only drank some coffee or caffeinated tea once in a while as a performance enhancer. For older guys, I’d recommend zero alcohol and going off caffeine other than using it as a performance enhancer.

    One other thing, bring a warm sleeping bag system and an inflatable pad, both tested before the trip during some winter camping. My Exped downmat pump sleeping pad really saved me, as my arthritic hips and shoulders got a break each night instead of getting abused on a cold hard surface.

    In all, I’m still pretty amazed I made it and skied off the summit. The help of the boys was key and appreciated, and I truly believe my prayers really helped as well, since I truly was at my limit for part of this trip, especially summit day from 14,200.

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