“Our expedition team members and guides have been flying with K2 since 1979. It is no exaggeration to say K2’s work has been flawless. Their twin priorities are safety and accommodating our needs/changing schedules. They have done a perfect job in both areas each and every year since we began flying with them.”
— Dunham Gooding, President, American Alpine Institute
Before your flight:
- Once you have arrived in Anchorage, you will want to purchase supplies (food and climbing) and pick up any rental gear.
- Arrange for shuttle, rail or airplane transportation to Talkeetna.
- Arrive in Talkeetna and check in with K2 office/confirm departure day and time.
- Go to Talkeetna Ranger Station for briefing.
- Return to K2 Aviation to weigh and sort gear at the K2 Hangar.
- Complete K2 climbing forms, purchase white gas, and declare any hazardous materials (such as butane).
- Store personal gear and get ready to go.
- Send emails and make phone calls before departing.
Excess Gear: Each climber is allowed to carry 125 pounds of gear with them. Each additional pound is charged at $1 per pound.
Kahiltna Climber Base Camp – May to early July
Base Camp on Denali is located at the 7,200 foot level on the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. The Base Camp is jointly operated by the air taxi services of Talkeetna. Its primary purpose is to provide information about weather and aircraft landing conditions, and to coordinate the arrival and departure of climbers. A radio phone provides reliable communications between the Base Camp and Talkeetna. The Base Camp manager will check you in, brief you on camp operations, and distribute fuel and sleds from our cache. The Base Camp manager typically provides twice-daily weather service broadcasts.
When you return to Base Camp, the manager will contact K2 Aviation to request your return flight. For those climbing in areas where there is no communication, a predesignated pick-up time and place will be established prior to your departure.
- Climbers check in with the Base Camp Manager upon their arrival. At that time, they can get fuel.
- In the evening, the Base Camp Manager provides weather information via family band radio.
- Sleds can be found at Base Camp. Bring your own rigging.
- After climbing, check in with the Base Camp Manager to schedule your return flight to Talkeetna.
Flights to remote locations:
- You will arrange a pick up time and place with K2 prior to departure. If you are traveling with a satellite phone, you may be able to contact us to alter pick up time.
- You will purchase fuel before flight and carry it with you. You will need to declare it as hazardous material.
- If you need sleds, place a request with our flight office so they can travel with you in the plane.
Where should we purchase food for our expedition?
Anchorage is the best place to purchase food for your expedition. Costco, Fred Meyer’s, and Carrs will have most anything you could want. Most shuttles will include a stop as long as you request.
Where do we purchase fuel?
- White Gas: You can purchase Coleman Fuel/White Gas from our office. For the Kahiltna Base Camp fuel is cached there and our base camp manager will distribute it when you arrive. For those traveling to other locations in the range, you will need to purchase it at our office and take it with you.
- Butane/Propane: Several pressurized butane and butane/propane mix fuel containers are not approved for aircraft transport. Please keep this in mind when you are purchasing your supplies. We recommend “GIGA Power” or Primus Power Gas. Among the unapproved products are most MSR and Coleman products. K2 Aviation will carry the approved canisters for sale at the time of check in.
How much fuel should we take?
It is recommended that you take 1/2 pint per person per day.
Where can I purchase climbing gear?
Before heading to Talkeetna, you can stop by Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking or REI in Anchorage. They are located within a short walk of one another and they have a wide selection of gear for purchase.
- Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking
- Alaska Mountaineering School (AMS) Mountain Shop
AMS has a climbing store that is a short distance from our office. You will want to check in with them ahead of time to see if they have what you need.
Your expedition has a few options for transportation between Anchorage to Talkeetna. Most expeditions choose a shuttle service because it costs less and allows them the flexibility of shopping on their way to Talkeetna. Some expeditions choose to fly or take the Alaska Railroad for their return trip to Anchorage. Our staff will be glad to assist you in making these reservations.
A great way to travel back to Anchorage after your climb.
- Alaska Railroad
P.O. Box 107500
Anchorage, AK 99510
Phone: (907) 265-2494
Toll Free: (800) 544-0552
This is a great option for most small groups. It is a efficient way to get in and out of Anchorage and Talkeetna.
- K2 Aviation
Contact our office in Talkeetna at (907) 733-2291 or go to our contact us button. We provide one-way and round-trip quotes.
- Denali Overland Transportation
P.O. Box 330 Talkeetna,
Phone: (907) 773-2384
Toll Free: (800) 651-5221
Fax: (907) 733-2385
- Go Purple Shuttle
- TKA Taxi Talkeetna
AK 99676 Phone:
Please note that rates may vary. Please check directly with the accommodation.
- Anchorage Guest House
2001 Hilcrest Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99517
email: [email protected]
phone: 907-274-0408Hostel Style Bunk Room (4 bunks per room) – $35 per person per night plus tax
King Room (1 or 2 persons) – $89 per night plus tax
- Alaska Backpackers Inn
327 Eagle Street
email: Alaskabac[email protected]
phone: 907-277-2770Private Single – $60 per person plus tax
Private Double – $70 (2 per room) plus tax
- Earth Tours Bed and Breakfast
1001 West 12th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
email: [email protected]
phone: 907-279-9907Private Room $115 to 130 plus tax (up to 3 people)
Contacts for current pricing
- The Roadhouse
- Talkeetna Hostel
- Swiss-Alaska Inn
Special climbing rates available
- House of Seven Trees Hostel
It is important to carry some method of communicating in the mountains; you will need to decide which will work best for your expedition.
Cell phones have limited use in the mountains, and should not be counted on as an emergency form of communication.
Family Band Radios
- Monitored – National Park Service monitors the Family Band Radios from their 7,200 and 14,200 foot camps.
- Weather Report – Each evening the Kahiltna Base Camp Manager transmits the weather forecast at 8:10 p.m.
- Good Coverage – Light weight and relatively good coverage make Family Band Radios popular when climbing.
For climbs in remote areas, satellite phones are often the preferred form of communications. Remember, any form of communication in the Alaska Range may not be percent reliable all the time. Satellite phones work well, but may intermittently lose reception.
K2 Aviation has seen an increase in the popularity of satellite phones or VHF aviation radios. Weather is broadcasted through a “family band” radio station twice daily. If your expedition is interested in renting a satellite phone, we recommend contacting Gregory Lee, a specialist in equipping climbers with lightweight and easy-to-use satellite phones. If you make a reservation IN ADVANCE, your satellite phone can be picked-up at K2 Aviation in Talkeetna. Basic handheld phones have voice and 2-way short messaging. Optional enhanced email capability is also available.
- Alaska Satellite Phone Consultant
1-619-922-1777 (available 7 days/week)