Meet the June 17th Denali West Buttress Team! Composed of lead-guide Dodge Garfield and assistant guide Chris Cullaz. Climbers include Myra Bertrand, Terry Sanders, Julie Leigh and Balint Erdos.
Denali rises up to 20,310 feet (6190 m). Due to its location so close to the Arctic Circle, conditions can often be very winter-like well into the summer months, so the team will undoubtedly encounter some of the temperatures and weather for which Denali is famous. The team will be climbing the West Buttress route, first pioneered in 1951 by legendary mountaineer Bradford Washburn. The team will fly into Kahiltna Base Camp at 7,200′ on the lower Kahiltna Glacier. For the lower glacier, they will travel under a night schedule to ensure that snow bridges are at their most solid, while hauling heavy sleds and packs loaded with supplies for up to 22-days on the mountain. The team is now at Camp One at 7,800′. From there they will continue to Camp Two (11,200′), Camp Three (14,200′), High Camp (17,200′) and if all goes well, eventually stand atop Denali’s mighty 20,310′ summit.
Throughout the team’s expedition, please keep in mind the adage of “no news is good news” in terms of the updates from the field. There are some days when certain circumstances, like poor satellite phone reception (this happens frequently at Camp 2 at 11,200′, as it is situated in a high-alpine basin with massive peaks on all sides), fatigue from a particularly long day, no change in their situation due to weather, etc., will prevent teams from calling in an update. Friends and family are encouraged to leave comments for their loved ones on this expedition, but keep in mind that they will not be able to see posts or comments until they return to Talkeetna after the end of their expedition, once they leave the glacier.
We wish the best of luck to the team and stay tuned!