May 13th West Buttress Denali Expedition – Rest Day at Camp 1

The May 13th West Buttress Denali Expedition had a rejuvenating rest day at Camp 1, complete with yoga, stretching, reading and great conversation!

We’ll let expedition team member Ret Taylor tell you more in his own words as he describes a day in “one of the most beautiful places” he’s ever been. Click the link below to listen and check out the banner image at the top of the page to see just how beautiful Camp 1 is!

Audio Recording

Climbers resting and enjoying the atmosphere of being on the tallest mountain in North America!

Climbing Denali is a marathon endeavor and getting sufficient rest is essential to allow the body to acclimatize. So often climbers are tempted to sprint up to Camp 3 as fast as possible and begin their acclimatization at 14,000′, often to their detriment… And that’s because 14,000′ on Denali doesn’t feel the same as 14,000′ at lower latitudes locales, like Colorado.

FUN FACT: Because Denali is at an extreme north latitude (63° North), the barometric pressure at its summit of 20,310′ is much less than the pressure found at a similar elevation near the equator. And that is because the atmosphere of the Earth is thickest at the equator (highest barometric pressure) and thinnest at the poles (lowest barometric pressure). Why do we care? Well, lower barometric pressure makes for “thinner air”, which means that there is a lower concentration of oxygen molecules available for climbers to breathe as they ascend Denali, which sits at the highest latitude of any of the Seven Summits.

With well-rested bodies, the May 13th West Buttress Denali Expedition plans to make their way to Camp 2 tomorrow. Let’s wish them luck as they push up the mountain to sleep at the 11,000′ camp! 

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