And we’re back home!
How do you define success without reaching the summit? By doing your homework, showing up ready & motivated, being a great team player who 100% believes in the strategy chosen, and still understands that, in the last minute, the mountain has the last word.
On our summit day, after a couple of hours on the go, lenticular clouds descended upon the mountain, somewhat 1/2 day earlier than forecasted. Nobody should walk up into a lenticular cloud at 6000m (unless you’re reckless.) Then, there was a 1 day break a couple days after being at high camp with 50mph winds. “Try again or use it to get out?” Well, It’s been almost a week, and the weather’s still there, pinning down the remaining teams on the peak. We were not smarter than anyone else, we just chose what was best for our team. “Time is money” they say, and oftentimes it’s wiser to invest that time in doing what’s right rather than being fixated with 1 objective. Getting out (after being hours from the top) in great spirits, proud of your role in the fight, and ready for another round is what success is. And Sue knows it! Congratulations girl, you were a great example on the mountain.
We flew out upon reaching the Kahiltna Base Camp runway and spent the 4th of July in Talkeetna, a pleasant “weird” town in the middle of Alaska, gateway to the Alaska Range. Yesterday and today, we all made it back home in the lower 48 with sore lips and facial skin due to the sun and mainly, the winds. But filled with joy to have been part of an incredible challenge only offered by the mountains. A few pounds lighter (not many do to the excellent food we enjoyed on the expedition), it’s time to start enjoying meals sitting at a proper table, rather than sitting next to camping stoves and using a snow bench. Thank you all for following along and have a great summer with hopefully some climbing on your local mountains!