I had been in Alaska for three days and this was my final day in the Denali Park area. The previous three days were rainy and foggy, which kept “The Hugh One” hidden from view. My last day was completely open, so I could do whatever I wanted to do.
A check of the next day’s weather revealed a slate of completely clear weather. Having read up on “must-do” attractions, I knew if I had the chance, I had to book a flightseeing trip. I called Fly Denali, the flightseeing operation out of Healy, AK to book a spot on the next morning’s flight. Lucky for me they had a spot – the only one – the final day of flying before they closed for the season. Phew!
As you can see from the takeoff video, I got the much coveted co-pilot’s seat. I had Denali in full view for the entire flight. (Pardon the propeller)
Landing on the glacier had me with white knuckles, momentarily at least. In the video, you can see we’re heading right toward the rock face and the white snow made it hard to tell when we were going to “touch down.” Once we hit the snow, which was a softer landing than my camera shake actually indicates, we were able to glide easily to a stop.
All good things must come to an end. With a forward push on the throttle we raced down the glacier and into the air – back to Healy Airport and, for me, onward to Anchorage.