June 23 West Buttress Team is headed to Alaska!

Today a group of climbers from around the world are finishing their journey to Anchorage, Alaska, where they will join together as a team to attempt to climb a classic route on the highest peak in North America.  The West Buttress route is an iconic challenge for mountaineers, ascending 13,000′ from a tributary of the vast Kahiltna Glacier to the 20,300′ summit of Denali.

West Buttress Route Map

This team hails from three different continents, and are equally diverse in age, and backgrounds.  In conjunction with several experienced Mountain Trip guides, they will forge themselves into a team and work together for the next two to three weeks.

The climbers are:

  • David Bull from the UK
  • Ralph Lafond from the US
  • Cody Loewen from Canada
  • Ched Lohr from the US
  • Hazel Nash from the UK
  • Dan and Garrat Puttkemery from Qatar
  • Mark Schwab from the US
  • Dave Luther from the UK

The guide team consists of:

  • Caitlin Hague from Alaska
  • Dan Starr from alaska
  • Rene Welty from Alaska

The team will meet on June 23rd for an expedition orientation and equipment check.  The guides will help them acquire whatever bits and pieces of kit they might still need, by driving them around Anchorage that afternoon.  The following day, we will drive the team north to Talkeetna, AK for an orientation provided to all climbers by our National Park Service and, if the weather cooperates, they will fly to the glacier on the afternoon of the 24th!

We invite you to follow the team via these expedition dispatches.  We ask team members to call in and report in their own words, so as to help give you a taste of their experience.  Dispatches will often come through daily, but very often, teams are too busy to call in each day.  Weather and terrain can, and often will, prevent teams from calling as well.  Keep in mind the old adage, “No News Is Good News!”  If you simply cannot wait for the next post, feel free to contact our Colorado office for the very latest information on the team.

You can also follow the team via their Spot GPS tracking device by bookmarking THIS LINK.


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