After finishing the last (night) shift of the project “Repave Denali Park Road”, my ladyfriend Phoenix drove my car north to meet me. I transitioned to day shift without sleep and we drove the Denali Highway, hiked to the Thayer Hut, and spent two nights enjoying the wonderful weather and amazing aurora.
Item Peak, from the south. My misadventure lower down along this ridge can be found here.
In the past, I have taken far too many photos of the Castner Valley; I did not take many on the journey up. Phoenix and I reached the Fin and descended to the north to gain access to the glacier. We reached the Confluence by dark, refilled our water, and made slow progress towards the hut as we navigated crevasses and ice bridges in the dark. We reached a drainage that descends from the hut plateau and followed it up, reaching the hut after midnight.
The next day I woke up at 2PM and we hung out in the sun all day. Kiro played whack-a-mole with the local critters, with a 0% catch rate.
We watched amazing aurora with some unexpected but delightful company that evening. We didn’t figure anyone else would want to make the 8 mile journey out to the hut! It was certainly the right place to be, the aurora filled the sky. When we awoke around noon, the clouds preceding a storm had rolled in and it was time to go.