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


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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  1. 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

  2. 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!!

    • 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.

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

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

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