May 30 Team – Thoughts From the Guides

Hello everyone and thank you for following our Mountain Trip Denali West Buttress Expedition.

After being back in Anchorage for two days, unpacking, cleaning equipment and resting, I think we all have had time to think back on this amazing, exciting and for some, life-changing expedition.  I do warn people that expeditions are addictive…!

We truly had an international team. We had members from Canada, Mexico, China, UK, Australia, and the good ol’ USA. I always find such diversity a special treat as you get to know different cultures and opinions from around the world (I do try to stay away from political debates on the glacier, ha ha!).  It’s hard not to learn something new everyday with such a great group of people that are willing to share and learn.

This team was very eager to work hard and climb, even when it was not the best weather. When we did encounter high winds and had to stay at the 14,200′ camp, the morale stayed high and the days passed by quickly. This was a group that I would say was “chomping at the bit,” willing to work as a team to get camp built, carry big loads and climb day after day.

With all of this hard work and starting our days early when the temperatures were less than warm, we were rewarded with clear trails and ridges, and some very nice campsites.  All of this led us to an amazing summit day!  We were able to spend over 45 minutes on the summit, enjoying a partly cloudy view of the Alaska Range, with very little wind and generally warm temperatures, before slowly making our way back safely to high camp.


I want to thank everyone on the team for making this a smooth expedition and for all of the fun you provided along on the way.

A big thank you to my co-guides Ted and Viviane for all of their help on and off the mountain and making it look easy!

It’s a small world and I hope to see you in the mountains.
-Jacob Schmitz

May 30 summit ridge

Thanks to Alan Keller for this great shot of part of the May 30 team, headed out the knife-edged summit ridge!

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