WELCOME TO ALASKA – MAY 11th WEST BUTTRESS DENALI TEAM
Standing high above the surrounding tundra of Denali National Park, ‘The Great One’ has enticed and enchanted mountaineers from around the world for over a century. Today our second team of climbers of the season will assemble in Anchorage to go over trip logistics, check out their gear to make sure everything is sound and ready for Denali conditions, and pack the snacks that will help fuel them up the classic West Buttress Route.
Let’s meet the climbers!
Michael Kenny, joining us from the U.K.
Fritz Bachmair, coming from Washington DC, USA.
Sophie Chung, traveling from Germany.
Markus Allesch, from Austria.
Matthias Aumayr, coming from Germany.
Todd Burris, from Kentucky, USA.
The guide team will be led by long time Mountain Trip guide Nick Aiello-Popeo, who has guided technical ascents (such as Ham and Eggs on the Moose’s Tooth) and put up impressive personal ascents in the Alaska Range and around the world. Nick will be assisted by Kristin Arnold and Slator Aplin, who both spend the majority of their year guiding ice climbing and mountaineering in the San Juan mountains of southwest Colorado and international expeditions.
Today, the team will load up into vans along with all the gear they need for 21 days on the route and drive several hours north to the small, end of the road mountain town of Talkeetna. From Talkeetna, the jumping-off point for most expeditions into the Alaska Range and remote areas of Denali National Park, they will fly above miles of glacier and high mountains to reach Denali Base Camp at 7,200′, courtesy of our friends at Talkeetna Air Taxi. They may have to wait on the weather to allow them a window to pass through the clouds that so often cloak the range.
Just as always, we ask that friends and family keep in mind the adage: “No News is Good News.” Often the team might have a hard time establishing a satellite phone connection, or may simply be on a different sleeping/climbing schedule and neglect the call in for a day.
You’re more than welcome to leave encouraging comments for your friends and loved ones on the expedition, but just keep in mind that they won’t be able to see them or respond until they have flown back out to Talkeetna, AK.
The team will send audio updates and photos directly from the mountain whenever service allows. We wish the team the best of luck!