Lead guide Dodge calls in for the May 8 team last night. Yesterday, they had a well deserved rest day at High Camp at 17,200′ (5242m). The team ate a lot of food and drank a lot of water. Making sure they are well rested, hydrated, and full of calories before their big attempt at the summit (which, hopefully, they are out doing RIGHT NOW!). Summit day can be a long day with many variables, it can take 14 hours to make it to the summit and back to High Camp. The team will encounter some technical terrain that requires moving more slowly, and it can be more challenging to manage the cold. Even if it is starting to be quite warm in basecamp, it can still be pretty chilly on the summit. But we hope the team up high is also experiencing some “warmer” (warmer is relative) temps. Just because the team has set out and everything seems in order, there are no guarantees of summit. Our guides always do their best to bring everyone to the top, but ultimately one could see it as a perk of the trip and the main goal is that everyone makes in home in the end!
The route is 2.5 miles with 3,120′ (950m) of elevation gain. That’s pretty steep! Especially if you consider you’re starting point; 17,200′ (5242m). The team starts out by crossing a flat expanse of the glacier on their way to Denali Pass where they will cross the Autobahn. This section of the route is protected with fixed pickets that each rope team climbs into as the cross the Autobahn. Denali Pass tops out at 18,200′ (5547m). Here the team crosses another flat expanse of the glacier known as the Football Field. This where the team ascends their last hill on the way to the summit, known as Pig Hill. Ascending Pig Hill brings the team to the summit ridge where they can take their final steps to the top of North America.
Can’t wait to hear how the day goes, I’m sure you’re all full of anticipation as well!
Dodge for the report: