June 9th Denali Team – Summit Day Recap

Lead Guide Eli Potter called in from the warm air of Anchorage, after he and the members of our June 9th West Buttress team made a long, hard push down the mountain and out the Kahiltna Glacier to Base Camp. Recapping their summit day, Eli, a seasoned Denali guide with over two decades of Alaska climbing experience, said it was one of his most difficult summit days. Wind and snow made for a very challenging ascent, and part of their team ultimately retreated just 110 feet from the summit under very harsh conditions.

The next day, they packed up their camp at 17,200′ and descended to their Camp 3 at 14,200′. As night fell, the skies cleared and temperatures dropped. Taking advantage of the cold conditions, the crew descended from Camp 3 and over the course of a 12.5 hour day (night?), they descended almost another vertical mile and a half over the course of about 12 miles, arriving into the 7,600′ Base Camp just in time to catch the last two flights for the day back to Talkeetna.

The climbers worked exceptionally hard and fought their way to very close to the summit. They all deserve hearty commendations for their extremely hard effort over the course of the past three weeks.

Here’s Eli!


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