May 18th Team Moves to Camp 2

Cameron Kenny jumped on the satellite phone to update us all from the site of their new camp, nestled in a small, but stunningly pretty basin at 11,000′. The team packed up their camp at 7,800′ early this morning and headed up the long ascent of Ski Hill, gaining almost 2000′ before the glacier’s slope slackened. At the very start of the Kahiltna Glacier is a pass separating Denali from the western peaks of the Alaska Range, including Mount Capps, Kahiltna Dome, and 10 miles south, Mount Foraker. The team took a hard right turn below the pass to climb the last 800′ up to Camp 2.

The basin in which they are now camped drains westward. To the south the team’s view is of steep walls of ice, broken by towering ice cliffs or seracs that occasionally tumble down towards camp (you do not want to camp below that wall!). The north is a mix of steep snow, ice and dark black bands of rock. The western view is of a heavily glaciated ridge and Mount Capps, a round-topped peak coated with glacial ice. Beyond the ridge, rivers and streams often glint in the late evening light, winding their way across the tundra to the Bering Sea.

The team will shift their focus to the northeastern side of the basin in the coming days. A moderately steep snow slope, steeper than anything they’ve climbed thus far, rises up out of camp. Weather permitting, the day after tomorrow, they will climb up that slope and out of the basin to carry loads of supplies farther up the West Buttress route. Tomorrow, however, they will sleep in, eat a fat breakfast, and drop back down the way they just came to retrieve a cache they buried yesterday. Carrying those loads back up to Camp 2 makes for a pretty mellow day, something of an “active rest day,” compared to the much harder days of moving up the Kahiltna.

Here’s Cameron!


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  1. So GREAT to hear your voice Cameron! You sound happy and healthy and it sounds like the group is doing great!!! Cheers to you all!!! Cam’s momma

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