May 29th West Buttress Denali Expedition – Back Carry Below Camp 2 + “The Things They Carried”

Lead Guide Josh knows how to make some fun dispatches! His team called in to report on “The Things They Carried”, listing items that the team members either wish they had, or wish they didn’t have on this expedition.

Listen here to learn more about each person’s kit! Audio Recording

Mountain Trip guides digging a cache hole.

The funny thing about Denali is that if you realize you brought something excessive, that you don’t think you will need higher on the mountain, you can always just bury it in the snow!

Since you re-trace your steps on the West Buttress route, descending the same way you ascended, almost every expedition leaves a cache at each camp along the way, and a “cache” is really just a fancy word for “hole in the snow where you bury your stuff”. Teams will leave things like trash, excess personal items, that heavy book you thought you would read, and even some gear that isn’t used on the upper mountain like snowshoes in cache holes at each camp, and then on their way down, dig up those caches and carry everything back to Basecamp.

The National Park Service mandates that teams bury their caches deep enough in the snow so that the contents of the cache won’t ever be exposed to the elements and each cache must be marked with a bamboo wand identifying the team which it belong to. We also mark each cache with a GPS waypoint so that we can easily find them on the way back down the mountain.

Thanks for the fun dispatch May 29th Team! 


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  1. Marshall, we will get you a new bowl for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River trip. I happened to order bowls for Nora and me yesterday.
    What is your bowl backup situation?

  2. I am sure you can share on the bowl Marshall! Great to hear everyone’s voices. Glad it’s going well.

  3. Reese- So unlike you to take a whole pharmacy with you! Glad you have the option to shed it. It sounds like y’all have a good camaraderie going – good to hear the laughter in the background!

  4. Does Amazon deliver to 11,200’?
    Sorry about your bowl, Mar! Hopefully your climbing buddies will share with you.
    Hope you’ve enjoyed a nice day at Camp 2!

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