Michael Burmeister called late last night to report that the April 22 team took a stab at the summit yesterday, but turned back about half way up the Autobahn, when winds began to pick up.
They awoke to a clear, beautiful morning and packed up with everything they might need for a summit bid. Heading out, they found firm conditions as the trail climbed up the long, rising traverse known in the dark humor of Alaskan climbers as the Autobahn. The NPS left a number of snow pickets in situ from last season and the climbers found many of these, to which they clipped their climbing ropes for protection against a slip on the firm snow. After climbing 500 or so feet up, they decided that the increase in wind warranted calling it a day and they returned to camp.
Later in the evening, the winds continued to increase, reaffirming that their decision was a prudent one. The forecast is for continued wind for the next couple of days, so they are going to sit tight and see what happens.
Think warm thoughts! It was about -20F yesterday.