May 14 Team Arrives at Camp 1

A photo of a plane in Denali Basecamp

The May 14 left Basecamp at 9:30a arriving in Camp 1 at 2:30p. First descending 600 feet from the South East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier to the main body of the 40 mile long glacier. Glaciers are like a frozen river. So, just like a river, they have tributaries that feed into the main body. The South East Fork of the Kahiltna where Basecamp lies is one of these tributaries, just like a river it flows downhill to meet the Kahiltna Glacier proper. After meeting up with the main body the team ascended 1,200′ and traveled 5.5 miles to Camp 1. Camp 1 rests at the bottom of Ski Hill, the first steep incline of the journey. Camp 1 is in what we call a “compression zone”, so there are very few crevasses here making it a great place to make camp. What do we mean by compression zone? If you were to take a Snickers bar.. bend the two ends towards the ground, the middle cracks and opens up. This is what happens on a glacier as it flows over convex terrain features. Now if you take one end of your Snickers up towards the sky, and bring the other parallel to the ground, you can see how in the corner you form everything is squished together. This is like the area where Camp 1 lies.

The team did experience some weather along their way today but was properly prepared. In the morning it takes a lot to get ready to move camp. Breakfast must be made, snow melted for water, tents broken down, gear packed, stashed in backpacks and sleds, and then ropes set out and teams tied in. This whole process, our team reports, took them 4 hours. As the trip continues the team will become more and more dialed with this process, but it is a lot. And perhaps it is the most at the very beginning of the trip when you are still carrying all 110lbs you flew onto the glacier with.

The recording is pretty tough to understand, which can happen in foul weather.


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