Virtually yearly for the reason that late ’80s, an Military unit hundreds up helicopters with gear to drop off on Denali. Their efforts assist the Nationwide Park Service and climbers alike.
An organization of CH-47F Chinook helicopters, often known as the Sugar Bears of Fort Wainwright, helps haul gear and arrange basecamps for the Nationwide Park Service. The rangers oversee the climbing season on Denali.
Final week, the Military reported that two helicopters ferried roughly 7,000 kilos of substances to the Kahiltna Glacier. This gear might be used to create two base camps on Denali. The drop-off consists of medical provides, tenting gear, and different requirements for the climbing season.
Meet the Sugar Bears Troopers
“It helps these guys to have the ability to come to the park and practice at altitude,” Ranger Joe Reichert mentioned. “They do some stuff within the jap Alaska [mountain range] group on Deborah, Hess, and Hayes, however then they’ll come right here and go to 14,000 and 17,000 ft on Denali. So it’s form of an alternate — they get their coaching, and we get some assist yearly,” continued Reichert.
The Sugar Bears have supplied vital assist and help to the Nationwide Park Service all through the partnership. For instance, in 2018, a sightseeing airplane tragically crashed right into a mountain close to the neighborhood of Denali, and the Sugar Bears have been fortunately accessible to help within the restoration mission.
Presently, the crew is staged in Talkeetna and is flying into Denali Nationwide Park every day this week. “[Crews are] coaching at totally different altitudes with weights onboard to fine-tune our abilities and efficiency planning for these helicopters,” mentioned Mission Coordinator Chief Warrant Officer 4, Francois Collard.
Mountaineers on Denali
The unit will stay within the space for the subsequent few weeks and return in August 2022 to retrieve all of the gear from the rangers.
The Sugar Bears’ decades-long relationship with the Nationwide Park Service in Alaska is helpful to each models. Due to this, they’ll proceed to work collectively as climate and funding permit.