Sunday, August 15, 2004

Denali sightseeing

A few days ago Jake and I made a trip I've wanted to try for a long
time. A friend from work had a visiting friend so I took them on the
usual Knik Glacier sighteseeing trip, with an 'off airport' landing,
then the 4 of us headed up to Mt McKinley. We climbed to 11K headed
up the Kahiltna Glacier and then traversed along the base to the
Eldridge Glacier, overflying the Ruth Ampitheater. It was a beautiful
CAVU day - no wind and about 55F at altitude. Really nice. The
commercial guys were all commenting to each other how nice it was.

The plane was still climbing really well at 11K and 100 mph at near gross
weight (I'm not saying which side of gross) which is quite an
improvement over my old Cub. I had the Cub up to 10K once, but this
is the highest I've flown so far. It was fun cruising back to
Talkeetna - indicating 180mph most of the way losing the altitude.

The photo is looking at McKinley about 1/2 way up the Kahiltna. I had
the route mapped out for my GPS with a friends waypoints but forgot to
upload it to the GPS, so I wasn't exactly sure I was at all times.
They have a special map of the mountain with reporting points that
you're supposed to use because there's a lot of commercial traffic and
there was a fatal mid-air a few years ago. I wasn't the only one
reporting "I think" before my position reports, and at least I knew my
altitude. The commercial guys seemed to be using 1000 ft separation
whenever they were near anyone else.


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