One of Those

Written by Doug Buchanan

By Doug Buchanan,

One of Those...

It wasn't desperate until short final. Up until then it was one of those big money things, whererepparttar two of us got together and counted out all our money, including what, if we would have spent on a bottle of beer, we wouldn't have enough. So we didn't buyrepparttar 125586 beer, and we could afford to fly to a mountain that would have taken three days to ski to. Let a guy get a little money in his pocket, and first he gets lazy.

So we flew. We were withrepparttar 125587 famous late Ron Warbelow of Tanacross, a little north of Tok. Well, we had earlier convinced him that he should fly mountain climbers to glaciers, and he would make a fortune, since no one else inrepparttar 125588 area would do glacier landings. There was a reason no one else would do glacier landings, but he didn't know that yet, so he got a friend to tell him some ofrepparttar 125589 basics, and he started flyingrepparttar 125590 very few of we financially destitute climbers wanting to go to obscure mountains requiring landing on a different glacier each time, incurring allrepparttar 125591 hazards forrepparttar 125592 minimum return.

Approachingrepparttar 125593 mountain of our interest, we were impressed withrepparttar 125594 rolling wave of clouds boiling overrepparttar 125595 ridge fromrepparttar 125596 south and disappearing in whispy fingers reaching out toward us as we set up on long final. We were in a Helio Currier. Things looked good. Then about short final, when we were getting kinda low, betweenrepparttar 125597 towering mountains at hand on both sides, andrepparttar 125598 nasty part ofrepparttar 125599 glacier below us, before we were atrepparttar 125600 narrow tongue of snow that looked like a good landing spot,repparttar 125601 reasonrepparttar 125602 fingers of wisp were reaching toward us, reached us.

The unique thing about a Helio Currier isrepparttar 125603 leading edge wing flaps, that are aerodynamically balanced to independently clunk forward ifrepparttar 125604 wing stalls, to suddenly give it more lift, or something like that. When it happens in turbulent winds,repparttar 125605 loud clunks of each wing's independent forward edge flaps randomly clunking forward and back, are rather dramatic, and flyingrepparttar 125606 plane is like guiding a bucking rodeo bull to a delicate chair at a tea party table. I would have been impressed with Ron's white knuckle thrashing-about on his side ofrepparttar 125607 plane, trying to stay on his side ofrepparttar 125608 airplane and also flyrepparttar 125609 thing, if I weren't so fascinated withrepparttar 125610 unusual cloud formation rolling overrepparttar 125611 ridge above us. We planned to be climbing up thererepparttar 125612 next day. I didn't even know until after we landed that my climbing partner inrepparttar 125613 back seat was throwing-uprepparttar 125614 whole time fromrepparttar 125615 first slam ofrepparttar 125616 wind until touch-down. You don't often get to look at clouds with that much fury staring you inrepparttar 125617 face without their trying to rip your face from your shoulders.

We did touch down, with a bit of drama. Ron, he just shouted for us to hurry and throw our stuff out ofrepparttar 125618 plane and closerepparttar 125619 door, while he foughtrepparttar 125620 controls at near full throttle just to keeprepparttar 125621 plane onrepparttar 125622 glacier at one spot. These airplane pilots who own their airplanes, sometimes don't appreciaterepparttar 125623 spectacular mountain scenery. The cloud formations up onrepparttar 125624 ridge, looking down on us, were worthy of pondering with an analytical gaze.

I shutrepparttar 125625 door, and was a bit startled to seerepparttar 125626 airplane as suddenly rise away from us vertically, lurch forward a bit, turn, and get blown out of there faster thanrepparttar 125627 departure of a government bureaucrat being asked a question.

Granted,repparttar 125628 wind was a bit brisk, but nothing a person couldn't crawl against. It was mid day, inrepparttar 125629 dead of winter, inrepparttar 125630 heart ofrepparttar 125631 Alaska Range, or a bit atrepparttar 125632 east end ofrepparttar 125633 heart, onrepparttar 125634 north side, kind ofrepparttar 125635 left auricle nearrepparttar 125636 aorta, from one's own perspective. Too early to camp, and where we wouldn't have wanted to try, forrepparttar 125637 same reasonrepparttar 125638 airplane couldn't stay there very long. It wasn't all that desperate, since we just got there, full of energy and all, and there hadn't been time for much to go awry. My climbing partner quickly recovered from his esophageal opinion ofrepparttar 125639 most recent moments of flight. We leaned forward, and just before reachingrepparttar 125640 horizontal position, were able to move againstrepparttar 125641 wind, up glacier. It was really easier than it sounds, sincerepparttar 125642 closer we got torepparttar 125643 steep north side ofrepparttar 125644 mountain,repparttar 125645 lessrepparttar 125646 wind was able to reach allrepparttar 125647 way down to us on its little venture torepparttar 125648 north. But it did take us a few hours to get a short distance.


Written by Gail Fonda

I am so angry and frustrated about trying to get published on line. Sometimes a link won't even open. I read "an error in displaying this link" a lot. Maybe I have no

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