We’d like to welcome Rich Ward to Alaska!  Rich will be joining senior Mountain trip guide Eric Larson, Keith Garvey, and Krista Garvey, on an attempt of the West Buttress of North America’s highest peak.   The West Buttress is a classic mountaineering challenge that climbs 13,000′ from the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier to the summit of Denali. The team will climb up the West Buttress route over the course of the next 2-3 weeks, pitting themselves against what can often be some of the most inhospitable weather and terrain on the planet.  Fingers crossed, they’ll encounter windows of nice weather and will be able to make their way up to the summit of North America.

Denali Mount McKinley

The expedition kicked off this morning at the Alaska Millennium Hotel, where the team conducted a team meeting/equipment check. This consisted of the guides double checking that Rich brought all the necessary gear for the climb, and discussing some of the details of the trip. The rest of the day was spent resting and relaxing. Tomorrow the team will leave Anchorage bright and early and head north 2.5 hours drive, to Talkeetna. The team will sit through a mandatory climber orientation with the National Park Serivice, weigh-in their equipment and supplies with our air services provider, and if the weather is good, they will fly to the glacier.

We invite you to follow the team’s progress through posts and audio dispatches that the team will call in from the mountain.  We try to post dispatches on a daily basis, but many factors can prevent that from occurring, so please be patient and remember the old adage, “No News is Good News!” Also,  we encourage you to post comments, but please realize that we have no good way to pass each comment along to the team.  Climbers do enjoy reading through your comments and good wishes, so please let them know you are thinking of them!

Welcome the Alaska, Rich!

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  1. Rich Ward: You are amazing! Enjoy the journey and know that you’re thought about often! Please be safe! We love you: Bianca and family

  2. Jean Ward

    Rich, With months of planning and preparing the first steps are taken for your journey, hurray, good luck. I look forward to following the June 9, 2014 Team this week. I also look forward to the team coming safely down the mountains….Jean Ward (Mom).

  3. tricia little ( krista's mom)

    Yesterday was your Birthday June 9 team is an awesome name for your team. A great memory to have this adventure named for your Birthday. Joe and I as the whole family will be praying for you daily, that you will be safe and have good weather. I know it will be a real challenge, you will do fine, just rest when you need to!
    I will be following ya’ll daily.
    Love you so much,

  4. Tina Craddock

    GO RICH! Have so much fun and i cannot wait to see pictures of you at the top! Ill def be crying when i see those! 🙂 Love you tons, stay warm and smile!

  5. Jen Geisler

    Git ‘er done babe! I’m so proud of you, your heart and your relentless determination. June 9 Team is going to kill it!

    XO – Jen

  6. Rob Javoronok

    Did you get started with your actual climbing today?

  7. Alf Leslie

    That’s awesome Rich, have fun

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