Gordon and Norm at Talkeetna airport. From Talkeetna there are two ways to get to the base of the mountain — a 60 mile hike across the tundra, or a 45-minute ride on a plane equipped with retractable skis. Like almost everyone else we opted for the latter.
The stooped figure in the background with a black hat and blue jacket is the legendary alpinist Fred Beckey. Fred has been climbing since the early 1940's and he's still active at age 85.