Taking advantage of sunny skies, the June 10th team packed up and headed uphill – destination High Camp! They rolled into camp at about 2:30 in the afternoon and are eager to see what the weather holds in the coming days, as they are just one climbing day away from the summit of North America.
Climbing moderate snow slopes for the first 1200′ above Camp 3, the team arrived at the base of the Headwall, a steep section of ice that kicks back to 45 degrees in spots. Ropes, anchored at semi-regular intervals help protect the 600 vertical feet of this feature. Climbers use ascenders (mechanical rope clamps) tethered to their harnesses to clip themselves into the fixed ropes for added security.
Atop the Headwall, they followed a fun ridge for another thousand vertical feet, negotiating their way among rocks and knife-edged snow ridges. They were able to capitalize on the hard work of a previous Denali team by moving into a camp that had been established by our June 4th team. The views out across the south of the Alaska Range are huge and they are enjoying the afternoon in the tin air of 17,200 feet.
Here’s Brian Kramp with the update –