May 13th Denali West Buttress Team — Meet the Climbers!

MAY 13th DENALI WEST BUTTRESS TEAM!


Each year, climbers are drawn from around the world to experience the splendor and remoteness of the Alaska Range, and especially to climb the highest peak in North America. Denali rises an impressive 20,320′ above the not-too-distant sea.  Located close to the Arctic Circle, it is notorious for presenting climbers with extreme cold and challenging weather, in addition to its high elevation. We’re posting this ‘Meet the Team’ a tad early due to climber request, but within a few days, the climbers will have assembled in Anchorage, AK from around the world, where they will meet their guide team and go through last minute preparations. There, they will go through all of the gear that they plan to bring with them for 21 days on the mountain, as well as go over any last minute logistics and pack the snacks that will help fuel them–hopefully as high as 20,310′!. Denali means “The Great One” in the language of the local indigenous people and it qualifies on all levels.  It is a difficult undertaking and suitable only for the most fit and well prepared climbers.

We will post photos of the team once we have received them from Alaska in a few days.

Let’s meet the climbers!

Chris Kuelling, from Colorado, USA.

Colin Webber, joining us from South Africa.

Joanna and Ewald Schrap, who will be traveling from the Netherlands.

Håkon Asvang, coming from Norway.

Brad and Hunter Foreman, of Illinois, USA.

Raffaele Montarello, from Italy.

 

The trip will be led by veteran Mountain Trip IFMGA Guide Pablo Puruncajas, who will be assisted by Karl Welter who spends his winters ski patrolling in Utah and summers guiding in southwest Colorado, and Brett Baekey of Colorado Springs, Colorado. All are returning Mountain Trip Denali guides with extensive experience on the mountain.

From Anchorage, the team will head north to the small mountain town of Talkeetna, AK, a rustic outpost that serves as a starting point for most expeditions into the rugged Alaska Range, home of Denali. When they have a good weather window, and after completing their briefing with the National Park Service, they will catch a ride into Denali Base Camp at 7,200′ with our friends at Talkeetna Air Taxi.

We would like friends and family to keep in mind the old adage of “No News is Good News” while the team is in the range. Often, it can be difficult to establish satellite phone communication from certain locations deep in the mountains, and occasionally the team is too tired from the days work to call in an update. We will post audio and photos as often as we receive them, and we will also have a GPS assigned to the team so that you are able to track their progress in real time. While we encourage you all to post comments to your loved ones while they are on the mountain, they will not be able to see them until they fly back out to Talkeetna after their climb.

Best of luck to the May 13 team, we hope your bags are almost packed for Alaska and you’re starting to get excited for your expedition.

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20 Comments
  1. Craig Wilson

    GO CHRIS!! This is gonna be ggrrreeeaaaatt!

  2. Kathryn Shackelford

    Good Luck Chris!!!

  3. scott foreman

    Excited for you both ( brad & hunter)can’t wait to see the journey unfolds thanks for the documentation leading up to be an epic adventure That is sure to unfold Lovewins Scott

    • Brad

      Thanks Scott, this place is amazing.

  4. Jared Zimmer

    Go Chris! Enjoy man…so stoked for you and Brad

    • Brad

      Thanks

  5. Artin Smaiely

    Enjoy the journey Chris! May the force be with you all.

  6. Kevin Kuehler

    Go get ‘em Chris. You’ve got this!

  7. Tom Ortolf

    Good luck Chris, Brad and Hunter…! And good luck to all the climbers and guides. What an adventure. Laurie and I are praying for good weather and a safe climb. Go bag that mountain!!

    • Brad

      Thanks Tom and Laurie, love you guys.

  8. Jill Vantine

    Have a great climb Chris! Hope it is wonderful and that you have good weather too!

  9. Raj Pal

    My power to you Chris, Brad & team!

  10. Alina ROSOLEK

    Enjoy the Journey Jo & Ewald and get the Best of it… I am with you… mom

    • Jo

      Thnx.
      Looks like we get to explore Talkeetna today. But all good. We’re in a great B&B / hostel. Pancakes for breakfast. Waiting for the green light to get to the glacier.

  11. Hi Chris,
    I am looking forward to living vicariously through you have a wonderful climb.
    God Bless you and the team,
    Bruce

  12. Nico en Anneke

    Enjoy the experience.moment by moment. A journey of a life time. Wij vinden het geweldig om jullie te mogen volgen.

    • Jo

      Dankje 🙂

    • Jo

      Lijkt dat wij eerst Talkeetna gaan ontdekken. Wij wachten op een mooi weer moment om te vliegen naar de gletsjer.
      Een zeer gezellige B&B gevonden. Leuk vakantie gevoel.

  13. Duke Welter

    Have a great climb, Karl and the whole team!

  14. Alina

    To Joanna,
    Kochana Asiu, z okazji Twoich imienin życzę Ci super pogody i zaliczenia Denali…
    Uściski…
    mama

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