We are excited to introduce our May 24 West Buttress team who will be attempting the route on SKIS! Yeehaw! We are honored to be chosen to join these folks on what may be a lifelong dream to touch the frozen reaches of Denali’s glaciated terrain, preceded by many months of training and years of time spent in the mountains. The team will be attempting the classic West Buttress route, the more common route attempted on Denali (first climbed in 1951), which ascends over 13,000 feet from Base Camp on the South East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier to the astounding 20,310-foot (6,190 meter) summit!
At 20,310 feet, majestic Denali rises a full 18,000 feet (5,486 meters) above its surrounding landscape. Thats 5,000 feet MORE than the elevation relief of Mt Everest! It is also the furthest north of the world’s highest seven summits. Due to its location so close to the Arctic Circle, conditions can often be very winter like well into the summer months. Around the Summer Solstice, the Alaska Range experiences over 20 hours of daylight, and even in the depths of night the sun never truly sets, making headlamps unnecessary and eye masks essential. The West Buttress will lead the team through heavily glaciated terrain from Basecamp on the Kahiltna Glacier at 7,200′, to Camp One at 7,800′, Camp Two at 11,200′, Camp Three at 14,200′, High Camp at 17,200′, to–conditions permitting–the 20,310′ summit.
This ski team will be made up of David Riggs of Truckee, California, led by lead guide Jed Porter who will be assisted by Jake Skeen.
We ask friend’s and family to remember that “No news is good news!”, if updates are delayed etc. Some days the team may not have adequate satellite phone reception to call in, may feel fatigued from a long day, or have had no change in their situation due to weather, etc. Friends and family are encouraged to leave comments for their loved ones on this expedition, but keep in mind that they will not be able to see posts or comments until they return to Talkeetna after the end of their expedition, once they leave the glacier!
Fingers crossed for some sweet turns for you all in The Great White North!
-The Mountain Trip Team