Phillip Manning, KTNA - Talkeetna
Denali climbing season has ended, and the numbers are not impressive. This year had the lowest summit percentage in over 25 years. A number of factors played into the lack of summits.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm two members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. One of those nominations was approved over the outspoken objection of Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski.
Days after lifting restrictions on one river in the Susitna drainage, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is shutting down king salmon fishing entirely on another. On Wednesday, a Fish and Game emergency order states that, starting at 12:01 am on Friday, the Little Susitna River south of the Parks Highway bridge will be completely closed for kings.
This week, the Alaska Energy Authority held public meetings in the Upper Valley and Anchorage to discuss the plans for the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. In addition to AEA’s updates on the progress and plans for the megaproject, opponents to the dam expressed continuing concerns.
This year, more than a thousand people will try to climb Denali. Some of those will be making the attempt as part of a “seven summits” expedition, which involves reaching the highest point on all seven continents. One family expedition, named Top to Top, is attempting the seven summits in a way that has never been done before.
On Friday, a deadly incident claimed the lives of at least 12 people on Mount Everest. Willi Prittie and Ellie Henke, both residents of Talkeetna, have extensive experience on Everest.
The plan to construct a toll bridge across Knik Arm advanced yesterday, when the Senate Finance committee voted in favor of sending it to the floor for consideration.
Last weekend, hundreds of skiers descended on Talkeetna for the Oosik Classic Ski Race and Tour. Some come to compete, and others wear costumes. Everyone comes to have a good time.
Organizers of the Oosik Classic Ski Race bill it as a “fun and funky” race and tour, followed by a night on the town of Talkeetna. Until recent snows, however, it wasn’t clear just how fun the race was going to be.
This past weekend, the second annual Mike Sterling Memorial Bike Race was held in Talkeetna. Unlike summer events like the Clean Air Challenge or the Big Wild Ride, this race featured a type of bike specially built for ice and snow.
Dogs are an integral part of many people’s lives in Alaska, and one Trapper Creek man has even more reason to be grateful to his four-legged companion after she kept him warm during a night injured and stranded in the cold, then found the help that resulted in his rescue.
On Tuesday afternoon, four snowmachiners were rescued by the Alaska Air National Guard in the Talkeetna Mountains.
The Iditarod Trail Committee is considering moving the restart of the race from Willow to Fairbanks. Saturday’s statement says that the ceremonial start will take place on March 1st in Anchorage as planned, and that the current plan is to have the restart, where the competitive part of the race truly begins, in Willow the next day. But there are concerns about trail conditions between Rainy Pass and Nikolai. If the trail isn’t acceptable by the beginning of next week, the restart will be moved to Fairbanks on March 3rd.
The Alaska House Energy Committee heard testimony this week from the Alaska Energy Authority. While the meeting was not initially intended to focus on the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project, a multitude of questions from legislators, as well as the presence of members of the Susitna River Coalition, prompted a shift that saw about half the meeting center around the proposed dam.