Denali – General Update From The Mountain

A powerful storm has settled over Denali with strong winds gusting at both the 11,200′ and 14,200′ camps.  It was snowing hard earlier today, but a report from an hour ago was that the snow had abated, but the wind had picked up.  The forecast is for gusts of up to 55 mph later today at 14,200′.

Fortunately, our teams have had plenty of advanced warning and have either descended and flown off the mountain or fortified their camp with thick walls built from heavy blocks of snow. Our May 4, May 9 and the DSUSA team all decided that they were running too close on their food, fuel and time to wait out what had been predicted to be a truly epic storm, so they all descended to Base Camp yesterday.  Over the course of the day, all the team members were able to fly off the glaicer.  Some returned to Anchorage yesterday evening, while the remaining climbers are all headed back to Anchorage now.

Sebastian Grau, Lead Guide for our West Rib team sent us a bunch of photos from 14,200′ camp that he shot yesterday.

west rib team builds campThree of the four climbers on our Rib team are engineers, so they have been building a heck of a camp!  Seba just called and said that they are paying particular attention to the most important part of camp – the bathroom!  There’s nothing that hinders nature’s call like snow blowing around your parts…

2017 Rib TeamSeba reported that the winds last night were really hard up above camp, and it sounded like freight trains passing over camp.  The winds at 14,200′ Camp were not too terribly hard during the night and it actually warmed up a bit from the very cold temps they had been experiencing.  The wind higher up has been raging as evidenced by the following picture, looking up at the upper part of the West Rib route.

windy day at Camp 3There are currently four Mountain Trip teams camped at 14,200′.  Our May 11, West Rib, May 13 and May 15 teams are all camped near one another and helping each other out.

Our May 19th team is camped at 11,200′, hunkered down in what seem to be stronger winds.

Our May 22 team was able to sneak into Base Camp yesterday!


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  1. Shaun,
    Just read the latest…wow. Praying harder now. Thankful the two teams are together now helping one another. Praying for wisdom for decisions of the guides…and for safety for you, Eric and all of the team.


  2. Eric,
    Thank you for the email message. Sounds like quite an experience. I really look forward to seeing you in mid-June to hear personally about your adventures. Will pray for your health, safety, and the good weather you want to conquer the mountain. You are a trooper!

  3. Dear Eric & Shaun,
    Praying for you guys & your team. Praying Psalm 91 for you, especially looking at the eminent weather conditions.

    My Refuge and My Fortress
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
    3 For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
    4 He will cover you with His pinions,
    and under His wings you will find refuge;
    His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
    5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
    6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
    7 A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
    8 You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.
    9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge—
    10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.
    11 For He will command His sangels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
    12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you ustrike your foot against a stone.
    13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
    14 “Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
    15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
    16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

    God bless you!
    With love,

  4. Glad to hear about all the skilled workers who wisely fortified your living area. Brrr!! Please know that there are more people praying for all of you than I can count…Church, family, and your adventure and updates are all over FaceBook. SO many covering you in prayer and good wishes!

    Eric, take advantage of the next couple of days and rest and get better. 🙂 We all love you back home. Stay safe and God bless all of you.

  5. Hey Paul – I was just checking on you and saw you are against stuck on the last camp! Be safe. Keep warm. Steve

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