June 21 West Buttress Team – Final Dispatch

Hello Everyone, thanks for following along with our trip.

We had a good time up there and all came back safely and still friends, which is the ultimate goal.  We all would have loved to have reached the summit, but like many of the expeditions this year the weather prevented that from happening.  The mountains force us to reevaluate our markers of success sometimes.  All we can say is that we gave it our best effort.

We fought some pretty full-on conditions on the lower mountain and positioned ourselves at 14 camp, with only one lost day on the front end of our climb waiting to get flown into Kahiltna Base Camp.  We had a beautiful day caching gear on the 16,000-foot ridge, which was maybe the highlight of the trip for us and our high point at 16,800’ (5120 meters).  After this, the storms seemed to roll in one after another, and we waited at 14 Camp for seven days waiting for a window, but unfortunately never got one long enough to both let the snow stabilize (avalanche considerations), and give us enough time to move to high camp, summit, and return.

Some highlights of the trip were playing corn hole, on a homemade court built by Clayton and Glenn Steer on 4th of July.  Additionally, they built a tunnel from their tent to the cook tent, so that they wouldn’t have to expose them selves to the elements in the storms! Hadn’t seen that one yet! Many a cribbage game was played and good movies and books were read.  Of course, the few clear days we had with stunning views of the Alaska Range were highlights, too.  Well, hope you all enjoyed following along, until next time!

Kyle Horner, Lead Guide


June 21 Denali

June 21 Denali above Camp 3

June 21 Denali headed home

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