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Jon Mancuso Gallery from the Wrangell St. Elias Experience
Posted on December 21, 2015

Being on the glacier is like being on the beach, kind of. Adam enjoying the view while waiting for dinner at basecamp.

Last week we told the captivating story of Melissa Arnot’s snowbound struggle on Mt. Bear in Alaska’s St. Elias range. It was a brutal trip with powerful storms, multiple crevasse falls and a thin margin of food and fuel reserves while waiting for the glacier plane pick up. The untold story is that of photographer and cinematographer Jon Mancuso who experienced his own plunge into the abyss, hanging with his photo pack from a single knot in the darkness of an Alaskan crevasse until his team  pulled him back into the light. It was a trip unlike any he has ever experienced. As Mancuso told the LYA blog, it’s a rare climb when he puts his camera away but a stretch of this one required complete focus for personal safety. He did however, capture incredible footage and images of the experience. We’re very relieved the team landed back safe and this is Mancuso’s gallery from when he did have the camera in hand. —LYA Editor

Images and captions by Jon Mancuso

Making progress from basecamp down valley then up and around to our first camp on Mt. Bear

Top: Being on the glacier is like being on the beach, kind of. Adam enjoying the view while waiting for dinner at basecamp. Above: Making progress from basecamp down valley then up and around to our first camp on Mt. Bear.

Mt. Churchill and the Klutlan Glacier at sunset.

Above: Mt. Churchill and the Klutlan Glacier at sunset.

Nearing first camp on Mt. Bear in the St. Elias range.

Above: Nearing first camp on Mt. Bear in the St. Elias range.

Icefall above the team’s first camp on Mt. Bear, 10,500 feet.

Above: Icefall above the team’s first camp on Mt. Bear, 10,500 feet. 

Melissa Arnot probing a crevasse in search of safe passage on our way to camp 2 on Mt. Bear

Above: Melissa Arnot probing a crevasse in search of safe passage on our way to camp 2 on Mt. Bear.

Evening light near basecamp.

Above: Evening light near basecamp.

Making dinner at high camp on Mt. Bear, while waiting out the storm. A foot of new snow overnight forced the team to abandon the summit bid and try and wait for a window to descend back to basecamp.

Above: Making dinner at high camp on Mt. Bear, while waiting out the storm. A foot of new snow.

Probing for crevasses in nearly white out conditions making way down from camp 2. The weather, visibility, and crevasse danger were so bad it took us the team nearly eight hours to navigate from 12,500 feet back to 10,500.

Above: Probing for crevasses in nearly white out conditions making way down from camp 2. The weather, visibility, and crevasse danger were so bad it took us the team nearly eight hours to navigate from 12,500 feet back to 10,500.

Making our way back to basecamp after descending from Mt. Bear in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Caption: Making our way back to basecamp after descending from Mt. Bear in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Waiting for pick us up on the glacier. Weather kept the team pinned down on the glacier for four days past the scheduled pick up date, as they began to run low on fuel and food.

Above: Waiting for pick us up on the glacier. Weather kept the team pinned down on the glacier for four days past the scheduled pick up date, as they began to run low on fuel and food. 

Paul Kloss landing the Otter on the glacier like a true Alaskan boss.

Above: Paul Kloss landing the Otter on the glacier like a true Alaskan boss. 

Arriving back at the Ultima Thule Lodge, psyched to be on Terra Firma once again.

Above: Arriving back at the Ultima Thule Lodge, psyched to be on Terra Firma once again. Below: Old school back safe in McCarthy.

Old school back safe in McCarthy.

Check out the Katabatic Tent that kept the team alive in the St. Elias Range at eddiebauer.com.

Author: - Monday, December 21st, 2015
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