The crew is comprised of Bellingham’s David Ghan who will be approaching the mountain on a split board, a Moonlight Basin ski patroller named Taylor Woodward on AT gear, and two climbers, Steve Hyatt and Tauru Chaw, who will be heading up on snowshoes before they reach the technical sections of the climb.
Ghan explains the plan: “We will be sailing to Alaska on the Resolute, a 45 foot ketch with personality and a desire for open water. The goal beyond getting Steve’s boat to Valdez so he can fish for the summer is to climb Mt. St. Elias. This sweet beast rises 18,008 ft above the waters of Icy Bay. It is only 15 miles as the bird flies from the Taan Fjord to the Summit. This gives us the opportunity to try and climb directly from the beach to the summit.
Let me give a little step by step of this journey:
– Leave Bellingham on April 5th
– Sail hard early so we make sure we arrive on time
– Start taking training days as we see fit, we will just choose mountains from the boat to ski/snowboard/climb
– Make stops in Alaskan and Canadian towns for showers and communication
– Get to Icy Bay at the very end of April
– Spend 3 to 4 weeks attempting climb and descent
– Beginning of June sail the last leg from Icy bay to Valdez Alaska
– Figure out how to get home from there
There will be sailing, fishing, climbing, and snowboarding for two months of my life and I am excited.”
With a stockpile of rice and beans, the crew will be living off the ocean until they set up camp for a month at the foot of the mountain and hope for a weather window to the top. Check back for more as they sail up the inside passage and start touring from the beach on their way to Saint Elias.