May 8 West Buttress Expedition Moves to Camp 2

Josh Gagner called in on behalf of the May 8th West Buttress expedition. Today they made the push up the Kahiltna Glacier and established themselves at 11,000 feet, the site of their Camp 2.

Under bluebird skies, but in the shade of early morning (remember, it never gets dark in the Alaska Range during the spring!), they broke down their camp at 7800 feet and packed their sleds and backpacks. Tying into their climbing ropes, in teams of three and four, they departed Camp 1 and almost immediately began climbing up a series of slopes on the glacier known as Ski Hill, which rises from 7800 feet to about 9,500 feet.

Taking breaks each hour, so they could hydrate, eat snacks and reapply sunscreen, they took about seven hours to hike to the 11,000 foot camp. This camp is situated in a beautiful bowl, surrounded on the north, east, and south by snow slopes and giant ice cliffs. The west affords the team a view out across the tundra, with its myriad lakes and rivers, many of which glisten in the evening when the sub passes around the bulk of Denali.

They are planning on spending three nights at this camp, with tomorrow being something of an active rest day of dropping down to pick up their cache at 9,800′.


West Buttress Route

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1 Comment

  1. So, so good to hear his voice. I think I probably speak for my counterparts as well when I say that I am spending a LOT of time on your website lately. Can’t imagine how stressful it would be to not have these status updates on this one. Also, thanks for the map! Everyone be safe and have fun!

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