May 13th West Buttress Denali Expedition – Retrieved cache and returned to Camp 3

The May 13th Team (aka “Team SA & CO”) left Camp 3 to retrieve their cache near Windy Corner and bring all of their food and equipment back up to the 14,200′ camp! 

Assistant Guide Dan called in to give us the update. Listen by clicking the link below!

Audio Recording

A beautiful day at 14-Camp.


The May 13th Team now is settling into life at Camp 3. With all of their food and equipment now with them, they are poised to begin strategizing about how and when to push up onto the upper mountain. Many Denali climbers think of the mountain in two parts: the lower mountain (below 14,200′) and the upper mountain (above the 14,200′ Camp 3).

For the first week or so of our West Buttress expeditions, teams ferry loads of gear, utilizing the “Cache and Carry” method, up to Camp 3. Once teams arrive at Camp 3, the “approaching” is over and the “climbing” truly begins. And that’s because after Camp 3, there is only one camp remaining on the mountain, and that is “High Camp” at 17,000′. From High Camp, teams will make their summit bid. But High Camp is an inhospitable place to stay for a long time, and you don’t want to head up to High Camp until you have a good weather window that could give you a chance to make a bid for the summit.

For this reason, Camp 3 at 14,200′ is where the strategy for climbing Denali truly comes into play. It’s where we dive deep into scrutinizing weather forecasts, assessing our teams strengths, and begin to hope and pray for that perfect opportunity to make an attempt at summiting the tallest peak on the continent. 


Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.