June 12 West Buttress Expedition – Final Dispatch!

We did it! On June 24, around 6pm, we stood on top of Denali. Every member of this private group of 5 did it, and we picked up a couple others along the way. Weather was largely very good for our entire trip. But, it must be noted that those that summitted the day prior to us finished their outing in snow squalls while the two days that followed our summit day had winds high enough to blow snow banners visible from basecamp. We got lucky and made good choices, throughout.

This team prepared well. This lead guide is especially appreciative of the growing habit of expedition climbers that employ one of the many reputable online fitness coaches around the world. The proliferation and effectiveness of this professional service is a boon to the mountain community: the rising tide lifts all ships, and mountaineering “ships” are now increasingly crewed by mountain mariners with high V02 max and deep Training Peaks resumes. If you want to make the most of your mountaineering life, employ and trust one of these professional coaching services.
Another cool pattern recognized in the most recent cohort of Denali expeditions, this one included, is that of parent-offspring trips. This group included a father and son, and we worked parallel to a father-daughter team and crossed paths with another father-son team. As a new dad (my little Charlie is 2.5 years old), I like the prospect of having her drag me into whatever she is most passionate about in a decade or two.
Have a great summer, everyone!
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