Lead Guide Sebastian Grau called in from 17,200′ this afternoon, after our West Rib team climbed up to high Camp in a very fast time of under five hours! The team did great and moved amazingly well, a tribute to their training and to the fact that they set a modern-era Mountain Trip record of something like 15 days at the 14,200′ camp.
Their camp is constructed, and the team is about to eat dinner and get to sleep. Today was a completely different sort of day from the rest of their expedition, as it was warm! The sun was out, the skies were clear and they are hoping to make a summit bid tomorrow morning. They will awaken fairly early, at around 5:30 or 6 am. Melting snow at high camp is a long, slow process, but their goal will be to head up at around 8 am tomorrow morning. The forecast looks favorable and everyone is excited to try the summit tomorrow!
This season has been an incredibly difficult one, even by Denali standards. Seba and his team are the first guided party to even make it to High Camp in 2017. I’ve been leading teams on Denali or organizing expeditions for 23 years and have never seen a season in which the first guided team reached the summit on the last day of May. Wow…
Think warm thoughts tomorrow morning and we’ll keep you posted as the day unfolds.