Well, we’re all back in the comfort of our homes after spending 17 days in the Alaska Range. We had some great weather down low on the mountain and got pretty beaten up by high winds at the 14,200′ camp. We made a foray up to 16,200′ to make a cache, and then dropped back to camp at 14,200′ for a rest day.
Ours was a small team, and we became involved helping out another group that had been waiting for their teammates who had pushed up to high camp some days before. The mixing of the two groups resulted in some interpersonal challenges that, combined with inclement weather, resulted in our decision not to make a push up to high camp. One of our team, Jason gross, decided to remain on the mountain and joined another Mountain Trip group that had begun their ascent a week after we began ours. It appears that he reached the summit yesterday, so we’re very happy that he had that opportunity.
At the time we turned back, we had been moving well, but not too fast, and were looking at moving up into pretty rough weather. As a team, we discussed our various options and decided to follow the prudent course of action, so we packed our things and dropped back down the mountain.
Finding success in the mountains is a personal achievement and highly individual. It seemed like everyone had a really good time on the trip, although mingling with some of the other climbers from the other crew seemed to erode the morale of our climbers. This is one of the things that is hard to plan for when preparing ourselves for a big climb, but even Denali is a social place.
All the best,
Sean and Jack