May 10th Denali Team Carries Up Glacier

Eric Hunter jumped on the call from our May 10th team’s Camp 1 at 7,800′ on the Kahiltna Glacier. The team is making the most of beautiful weather and a good trail. This morning, they loaded up their backpacks and sleds with roughly half their total load of supplies and carried it all up to just under 10,000′, near the head of the Kahiltna.

The day began with a short approach to the first significant climb of the expedition. Just north of Camp 1, the team climbed up a long slope where the Kahiltna, slowly flowing downhill, drops a total of about 1800′. The first major hill is known by climbers as “Ski Hill.” At about 9,600′, the slopes mellow out and it is a gradual ascent to the head of the Kahiltna at 10,200′.

The team dug a deep pit in the snow covering the glacier ice and deposited their first cache of the expedition, marking it with bamboo wands and noting it’s location by GPS. They buried their cache under a meter of snow to protect their food from the tenacity of ravens that have learned to love climbers’ cookies.

After making their cache, the team dropped back to camp at 7,800′ for the night. This pattern of climbing high and sleeping lower helps them acclimatize by giving them a taste of a new altitude without having to commit to it by moving camp and sleeping at the higher camp. During sleep, respiration decreases and the risk of developing AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is higher, so sleeping lower is a benefit.

Here’s Eric!


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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the update Hunter! Glad you guys are getting some good weather. Keep on trucking…
    Looking forward to the next update. Good work Hunter and Artusi (2 Colorado climbing legends;)

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