Mike Meekin and I moved 9 people onto the glacier by 11 a.m. one Sunday morning. Considering we can only take one person at a time, that is not too bad. There was an ominous dark cloud hanging over Mt. Valhalla (pictured above) on my first of five trips. By the fifth and last trip the wind was blowing more than 30 mph. I took-off up-glacier and into the wind and when my skis broke free of the snow my ground speed was only 19 mph. (Super Cubs don’t fly at 19 mph, uphill, unless the wind is really blowing really hard). A 30 mph wind is a very stiff breeze when operating in the mountains and it was time to be doing something other than flying. So I tucked tail and ran for the hangar.
I returned 5 days later when the storm had subsided. The mountaineering team had been forced to stay within the perimeter of their camp, the same place I had dropped them 5 days earlier. When 5 feet of snow falls while the wind blows nearly 80 mph for 5 days straight it is not surprising that the glaciers landscape had changed drastically. The photo above was taken while I circled the area looking for a smooth stretch of snow to set down on. It took me approximately 20 minutes of searching before I was able to line-up on something that would leave my landing-gear intact. This was such a nice afternoon that it’s hard to believe the frightening weather that existed here just hours before this was taken. The 5 foot snow drifts told the story plainly. The team was happy to have their fresh groceries.