Lead guide Jacob Schmitz calls in to report the team has landed in Denali Basecamp! Basecamp is located on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier at 7,200′ (2194m). Yesterday afternoon, the team flew in from Talkeetna. Located literally at the end of the road, Parks Highway, deep in the Alaska Range. For decades Talkeetna has been the starting point for climbers going into the Alaska Range. Talkeetna resides at 348′ (106m). Flying from here is spectacular, as you leave the now green stretches of these lower elevations and fly across the open expanse braided with a myriad of rivers and eventually you see the toe of the glaciers leaving the Alaska Range and the Range itself. Soon you are flying over huge rocky peaks, standing dramatically against the white snow and ice that lives their permanently.
Teams will often bring food from restaurants in Talkeetna to enjoy at basecamp, which frequently includes a salad, to revel in the last of fresh vegetables they will enjoy for the trip! The team plans to have a short night and leave early. Probably sometime after midnight, enjoying the cooler temps of the early morning. Even though they may be in a snowy terrain, it can still feel sweltering hot when the sun is in full force at these lower elevations. Luckily, the Alaska sun doesn’t really set this time of year, and moving at “night” is pretty easy.
A 2021 team in basecamp