June 22 Denali West Buttress Team – Meet the Climbers!

On Wednesday, June 22nd, a small group of climbers met in Anchorage, AK to join a team of Mountain Trip guides for an attempt to climb the highest peak in North America.  Denali rises 20,320′ above the not-too-distant sea.  Located close to the Arctic Circle, it is famous for presenting climbers with extreme cold and challenging weather, in addition to its high elevation.  Climbers have been attempting to climb the peak for over 100 years and in 2013 we celebrated the centennial of the first ascent of the mountain.

Let’s meet the team:


Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru and her father Dr. Krishna Sriperambuduru, who will be accompanying her for the first several days of the climb.

And our team of Alaska-based guides:
Constantine Severis, from Colorado.
Kristin Arnold, from Alaska.

Fisher Hazen, from Colorado.

The team has had a busy couple of days, starting off with a few HUGE days of travel from India to Alaska, then a Team Meeting/Equipment Check yesterday. The team enjoyed some free time yesterday afternoon and evening, giving them time to rest and relax before the next part of their journey begins. This morning the team met early and drove 2 hours north to the quaint town of Talkeetna. In Talkeetna the team checked in with the National Park Service and attended a mandatory climber orientation presented by an NPS ranger. The next stop was with our air taxi service, where they weighed all of the expedition gear. The team is currently in the process of loading the Twin Otter, which will take them to Base Camp, located on the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. The plan is for the team to move to approximately 10,000′ where they will set up camp and review skills. Dr Krishna will stay with the team for several days, then return to  Base Camp and onto Anchorage. Jaahnavi and the guide team will continue to ascend.  Best of luck to the team!

Here are a few photos from Talkeetna, prior to taking off.

Jaahnavi Jaahnavi 2 Jaahnavi 3

and from the runway in Talkeetna:


We will post updates on a semi-daily basis, when the team members call in to our dispatch site.  Often, we’ll post reports in the form of audio posts, which allows the climbers to relate their experiences in their own words, which can be fun.  Please follow their progress, but we like to stress that, “No News is Good News” when it comes to dispatches from the field.  The guides and climbers have a lot of work to do each day, and sometimes, they are just too pooped to call in an update, or the weather and/or terrain interferes with the satellite phone signal.

Please post comments!  We cannot pass them along to the team in anything close to real time, but climbers love reading your thoughts and good wishes after they come off the mountain.  If you need to reach a team member with a message, drop us a line and we’ll pass it long.


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