May 10th West Buttress Denali Expedition – Back in Camp 1 (under sunny skies!)

We just heard from the May 10th West Buttress Denali Expedition and it sounds like they’re experiencing a rare moment of beach weather up on Denali! 

Click the audio recording below to listen.

Audio Recording


Mountain Trip climbers enjoying sunny skies on Denali!

For being one of the coldest and harshest places in North America, every once in a while… Denali can actually be a warm and sunny place! Expedition member John called in with a quick update: all is well, they’ve got beautiful weather, and it feels like the beach. 

The May 10th team made their first “carry” of the trip, hauling a sled load full of food and equipment up towards Kahiltna Pass, about halfway between Camp 1 and Camp 2, in order to “cache” it in the snow. This “carry and cache” method of ascent is very common on Denali because it serves two strategic functions to improve the expedition’s success.

First, it allows the expedition to minimize the amount of weight that they have to carry in their sleds and backpacks as they ascend the mountain (carrying 22 days worth of food and gear all at once is too heavy and exhausting). Second, having the expedition team take multiple trips up and down the mountain between camps can help expedition members better acclimatize by climbing incrementally higher in elevation but sleeping at a lower elevation for multiple nights.

The old mountaineering adage of “climb high and sleep low” perfectly describes this approach to acclimatization, and by getting a little bit of exercise today and then sleeping again at Camp 1, the May 10th West Buttress Denali Expedition is setting itself up for success on the upper mountain.

Nice work, team!

In other news, the Denali National Park Rangers just issued a new “Denali Dispatch” on May 14th. Check it out!






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