We received the call this morning that the June 26th Team awoke feeling good and decided to make an attempt at the summit of Denali!
Part of Mountain Trip’s Risk Management strategy for summit day is that the guides will call our Alaska Operations Director prior to departing for the summit. This helps the guides by providing an additional brain to bounce ideas off of, a brain that is infused with sea level amounts of oxygen, as our Anchorage office is about 100 feet above the Cook Inlet. The guides discuss their strategy for the day and how each climber is doing. The Director helps them review their plan and the equipment they will carry with them on their bid. This additional step has proven valuable in recent years and is something that helps set our risk management apart from other companies.
The guides called in and after a discussion with Bill Allen, they collectively decided that it was an appropriate choice to take a stab at the top, so the team is making its way up the long, rising traverse known in the dark humor of Alaskan climbers as The Autobahn.
Above The Autobahn, seen at the lower left of the image above, the route makes its way up a series of smaller hills and through some rather rolling terrain before reaching a large flat section of glacier known as The Football Field. The team will probably take a good long break on The Football Field before climbing up a moderately steep slope to gain the summit ridge. The ridge is spectacular, with HUGE air on either side of the climbers as they walk heel to toe along the crest of it’s knife edge.
We’ll keep you posted as we hear from the team, but we do not expect them to call until they either reach the top or arrive at a point where they might want to discuss their choices with our sea level staff.
Think warm thoughts and best of luck to the climbers!!!