May 6 Denali Team Cached at 13,500′

Lead Guide Brian Kramp called in from the beautiful basin camp at 11,200′ (3413m) after the team carried loads up to 13,500′ (4114m) today.  They are doing great and hoping to move up to their next camp tomorrow!

The morning started with a 1000′ (300m) climb up a slope known as Motorcycle Hill.  The hill is not very steep, but it is strenuous work to ascend.

motoryccle hill denali

Looking up Motorcycle Hill at the West Buttress. This photo is from our May 3rd Team and was taken last week.


Topping out Motorcycle Hill, the team continued up a series of shorter, but steeper pitches collectively known as Squirrel Hill, until they reached a point immediately below the rocky West Buttress of Denali.  A long, rising hike below the crags led to a point where a steep ridge drops from the Buttress to the glacier below, forming a sort of corner around which climbers need to pass to reach the upper mountain.  Known as Windy Corner, this feature seems to cause winds sweeping the immense South Face of Denali to accelerate, hence the name.

The crew turned the corner and climbed a couple hundred more feet to a spot where they once again dug a deep hole in the snow and buried a cache of supplies before descending back down to the 11,200′ camp for the night.

Here’s Brian!


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