Hi Ken - welcome back to lower elevations, glad you had such an awesome trip up. The aircraft in your video looked like single engine turbo otters on wheel skis, is that correct? Did you see any other type of aircraft being used up there, such as Beavers or Helio Couriers?


Ken Williams

Hey Carol,You're correct on all fronts about the planes. The most popular model was the Otter Turbo prop which was the only model that moved me around. I almost got a last minute ride in a Beaver, but that did not play out my way.
The Park Service was using a helicopter to move gear and drillers from Base Camp to Mount Hunter, but unfortunately I don't know the model number for that. There is a picture or two though on a Journal page. The Otters were very interesting. I guess the story is that many were built in the 1950s and they have proven so reliable that the flying services just keep rebuilding them and maintaining their fleets.
We used Talkeetna Air Taxi for our transport and they were unbelievable. Not only were they totally professional, but they were very interested in the science and drilling operation and evidently talked it up all over town. They helped our team move around 6 tons of gear to Denali Base Camp at around 7,000 feet where the helicopters took over to get everything to the Mount Hunter Ice Divide at about 13, 200 feet.
Thanks for checking in,

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