Sunday, June 7, 2009

Expedition Teams Finally Move on Denali

The weather finally improved on Denali, with no snow but high winds on Satuday and clear skies and less wind today June 7th.  

Team 5 called to say they had established a cache at 12,000 feet from their camp at 11,200 feet.  Team 4 put in a cache yesterday at 16,000 feet a the top of the buttress and are taking a rest day today at 14,000.  And Team 3 is going for the summit (reported by Team 4).  Here are the two dispatches that were sent from the mountain via satellite phone,

Team 4 reporting from 14,000' on June 6th at 1:10 pm Alaska time. 

"This is Aidan calling from 14,000 feet on a gorgeous day.  We cached yesterday at 16,200 and then returned to our 14,000-foot camp for a rest day today.  And today Michael and Angela and their crew [Team 3] are heading for the summit today.


We cached yesterday in fairly brisk winds – 40mph and gusting to 60.  As I said, we’re taking a rest day today and working with Mike to switch camps so that when they head down tomorrow, they can leave their tents for us to occupy, and we can leave out tents here for them to occupy.  That will save a lot of weight in our loads and save a lot of time breaking down and then resetting camps.  That should make our move to 17,000 feet pretty simple.  A lot of people are moving up today, and it’s pretty busy on the fixed lines going up the face of the buttress.  So tomorrow the climb will be a lot nicer, a lot less crowded.


Getting to 17,200 feet on Monday should set us up for a summit climb on Tuesday.  There’s supposed to be a little low-pressure system moving in Monday evening, and we’re hoping that doesn’t amount to much.  We could use a little break given that the weather has been so bad for almost a month. We feel like we’re due for a break!


OK, so signing off from 14,000.  We’re going to head back out into the sun, probably head to the great overlook called Edge of the World, and maybe play some frisbee, maybe some hackysack.  Should be good!"


Team 5 Reporting from 11,200' on Saturday night, June 6:

"Hey hey hey this is Ricardo AKA Richard saying 'Hello' from 11,200 camp.  We did a carry to 13,000 feet around Windy Corner,  and yes it really lived up to its name. It was pretty windy and kind of cold.

Tomorrow we will head to 14,000 and set up camp there, and the day after, we'll drop down and retrieve the cache and bring all those supplies up to 14,000 feet.

We did climb to 12,000 yesterday.  A couple of people punched through into crevasses up to their waste, but everyone was doing a great job with the glacier travel procedures and it was easy to get them out.  These were really invisible crevasses, so everyone really saw the point of our strict glacier travel procedures!


Weather right now has improved.  We have blue skies, temperatures are cooling, and hopefully it will continue like this."

At that point, the reception broke.


You can follow the progress of all AAI Denali expeditions on the dispatch page of AAI's website:     The URL for the specific page is:   Use the drop down to follow the team you want. 

Dispatches are posted M-F on the dispatch page.  Aside from special events (e.g., summits, major storms, etc), they are posted on this blog only on the weekends, and on Monday they are moved to the dispatch page.  

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