I need to note before the critique that this trip came together very well; that Eli and Aria are competent, relatable, and passionate about the Wrangells; and that I am planning on attempting Blackburn with Wild Alpine in 2015. The single biggest issue I had was communication in the months leading up to departure. There was a point where the back-and-forth Emails had trickled off to nothing, and I thought I had ended up on the wrong end of a spam filter. The second issue was the mountaineering gear list on Wild Alpine's website, which I found out was inadequate for Blackburn only a few weeks before my flight to Anchorage. Other than these two (ultimately pretty minor) problems, I had a great trip. The route conditions, flight timing, and weather (seemingly) conspired to deny two of the three groups a summit attempt, but this is hardly attributable to Eli's planning or leadership skill. A fantastic if unsuccessful expedition to the most incredible place I know or know of.
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