We recently received word that the members of the May 26th team decided last night that enough was enough… They gave Denali a tremendous demonstration of patience, tenacity and perseverance, but the mountain was unforgiving and unrelenting in its seeming refusal to allow them much opportunity for upward travel. Faced with a dwindling number of days they could give to their effort, the team unanimously elected to beat feet for Base Camp.
Last night, they packed up their kit from the 14,200′ camp and hiked through the Alaska night (which is quite bright nowadays) to reach Base Camp today. They are set to fly out to Talkeetna.
These guys had a tough go from the onset, with many rainy days in Talkeetna, waiting for the chance to fly, and then weather days at almost every camp as they tried to keep ascending. In my 20 years of guiding on Denali, I cannot recall a team meeting such fierce weather obstacles as did this team. They might have set the record for the “Talkeetna Hang” and then spent many extra days waiting in snow storms at 14,200′. They punched it hard when they could, so as to get as high as possible, but ultimately, in the face of a continuing less-than-optimal forecast, they chose to call it for this year.
You guys gave it a solid effort and we commend you on being as focused and dedicated. Well done everyone!