Yesterday a group of climbers from around the world convened in Anchorage, Alaska, where they began their journey to attempt to climb a classic route on the highest peak in North America. The West Buttress route is an iconic challenge for mountaineers, ascending 13,000′ from a tributary of the vast Kahiltna Glacier to the 20,320′ summit of Denali.
In conjunction with several experienced Mountain Trip guides, they will forge themselves into a team and work together for the next two to three weeks.
The climbers are:
Antony Osbourn from the Isle of Wight, England
Nicholas Gough from Gwynedd, Wales
Honglin Guo from Dallas, Texas
Allan McLealand from Hartsville, South Carolina
Neil Brimacombe from Johannesburg, South Africa
and Kate Hallam from London, England.
The guide team consists of:
Jacob Schmitz, lead guide and new daddy extraordinaire from the Netherlands
Aaron Diamond from Jackson Hole, WY
Jason Denley from Girdwood, AK
The team met yesterday, June 1st, for a Team Meeting and equipment check, and afterward the team members packed their lunch food for the expedition. The remainder of the afternoon was spent picking up last minute items and resting. This morning the team packed up and headed north 2 hours to the small, but pretty, town of Talkeetna for an orientation provided to all climbers by our National Park Service. Here are a few photos of the team leaving Anchorage and at the NPS office:
The next stop is with our air services provider, Talkeetna Air Taxi, for a weigh-in of all of the expedition equipment. If the weather cooperates, they will fly to the glacier this afternoon.
We invite you to follow the team via these expedition dispatches. We ask team members to call in and report in their own words, so as to help give you a taste of their experience. Dispatches will often come through daily, but very often, teams are too busy to call in each day. Weather and terrain can, and often will, prevent teams from calling as well. Keep in mind the old adage, “No News Is Good News!” If you simply cannot wait for the next post, feel free to contact our Colorado office for the very latest information on the team.