There are few things in the world that you can do that require such little effort or your part to get such a huge return. A glacier landing gives you a sense of excitement that equals many of the most intense things out there, but to get this incredible feeling and experience, all you need to do is climb into a plane and put your faith in your pilot with Talkeetna Air Taxi. As the plane takes off and heads toward the monstrous peaks, many times there are clouds lining the sky. These are not the fluffy fun kind, they are the scary dark thunderstorm kind and they are nothing short of extremely intimidating.
As the pilot flies through the clouds it seems there is no exit in sight, and your heart beats intensely. Then at the last moment a small tunnel through the dark thunderheads opens up and the pilot shoots through it only to reveal blue skies and Denali dead ahead. As you breathe short breaths from the 20,000+ foot cruising altitude, it becomes more realistic to understand what it might be like for the courageous climbers making their way to the summit. If you are lucky enough, as we were, your landing will be at the basecamp of Denali and if your timing is right, which ours was, you get to meet some of the climbers prepping for their ascent.
The climbers were kind enough to have a chat with us, and to our amazement, they called us crazy adventurers for our journey. I think they are going to beat us in the adventurers category, but nontheless it was a truly special experience to be able to meet this people as we gazed up at the foreboding peak in the background. The pictures do not do the scenery justice, but this experience and this flight is something that should certainly make your “things to do before you die” list. The excellent part is that it is something for all ages, I think we had passengers ranging from 20 to 70 on that plane, all with wide eyes for the 3 hour flight.
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