Jas Hepburn was the guest speaker at the club meeting talking about his adventures taking pupils from Banchory Academy to Kenai peninsula south of Anchorage in Alaska. The expeditions took place in late May and early June in 2007, 2010 and 2013.
The ice experience was for ten days on the 50 mile long Harding icefield starting at 4200 feet. Jas described trips with no mobiles and only a satellite to Braemar Police Station.
In Alaska the National Park Service has a problem with poachers with truck full of armaments. Evidence of the gun culture there was clear to see while buying kit for the trip and witnessing lengthy gun counters.
Camping was an adventure, pick your own spot avoid the bears evident from their footprints. They ventured on to a moonscape of alpine plants with heat from the rock and reflection creating a very warm daytime.
On the snowfield camps were all dug from scratch and walled up every time. The group was roped together in case of crevasses. The weather varied drench to sunshine. All cooking was done outside and the youngsters from all different backgrounds were fantastic.
They explored glacier lines and moved across the snowfield to nunataks.
Part two of the expeditions were on devoted to conservation.
The party was ferried two hours up a lake to replace slates with tin tiles originally made out of opened out tins of corned beef etc.
They cleared part of the Lake Emma Trail and raised a wooden hut with interlocking wooden logs.
The adventure had its hardships but was great fun. A very appropriate vote of thanks was proposed by Past President Stuart.