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Alaska Mountaineering School. This outfitter leads backpacking trips in wilderness areas near Talkeetna and elsewhere in the state, including the Brooks Range, and glacier treks that can include overnighting on the ice. It also conducts mountaineering courses that run from 6 to 12 days, expeditions to Mt. McKinley (figure on at least three weeks; prices from $7,000) and other peaks in the Alaska Range, and climbs for all levels of expertise. A novice course, which should be enough to get you comfortable in the mountains, will run a bit over $2,150. AMS also offers treks for photographers; they run a seven-day photography workshop into Denali with both a pro photographer and a hiking guide leading the way ($2,500). While you're in Talkeetna, check out the AMS mountain and gear shop on F Street. 13765 3rd St., Talkeetna, AK, 99676. 907/733–1016. www.climbalaska.org.