Our May 20th Highly Supported West Buttress team is on the glacier and apparently having a pretty good time, from the sound of the podcast they called in on the evening of May 22nd.
The team met in Anchorage on Saturday, May 20th and the guides conducted a thorough equipment check, helping to insure that everyone had the necessary gear and not much extra. They spent some time discussing the expedition before them and discussing the first few days’ events in detail so that everyone would be well prepared for their journey.
On May 21st, we drove the team up to the small, end of the road town of Talkeetna, Alaska, where they received further orientation regarding considerations about climbing Denali from one of the National Park Service’s Climbing Rangers. Following a Power Point presentation, and a question and answer session, the team drove over to the Talkeetna airstrip where our good friends at Talkeetna Air Taxi loaded them up and flew them the 45 minute flight to Denali Base Camp on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.
Landing on ski-equipped aircraft, the team had to hustle to unload the planes and move all their equipment, food and supplies a short distance away from the strip, where they made camp for the night. During the wee hours of the morning, they packed up and hiked about five miles (8Km) to the site of their Camp 1.
It sounds like they passed the satellite phone around so that everyone could say hello. The team consists of:
Jacob Schmitz (lead guide)
Kim Grant (guide)
Julian Hannah (guide)
Jack McGee (guide)
Pete Gaston (guide)
Here’s the team from 7,800′ on the Kahiltna Glacier![audio:http://mountaintripdenali2011.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/audio-post-2011-05-23-04-29-10.mp3|titles=Audio Post]