Meet the June 6 Denali West Buttress Team!

A Mountain Trip team on the Lower Kahiltna Glacier.

Our 47th Denali season is well underway with quite a few teams on the mountain. We would like to welcome the latest expedition, the June 6 Denali West Buttress Team, to Alaska! For many mountaineers, climbing Denali is a massive dream, a lifelong goal, and the culmination of months (or years) of training and preparation. The mountain is certainly no easy undertaking; rising from the Arctic plains, Denali has the highest prominence of any mountain in the world. From Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier, climbers will ascend nearly 13,000′ to Denali’s coveted 20,310′ summit. They will follow the classic West Buttress route, establishing four camps along the way before making their summit push.

Let’s meet the climbers!

Blake Higgins

Callie Higgins

Sean Karls

The Mountain Trip guide team will be led by longtime lead guide Jason Denley, assisted by Harrison Lewis. Both originally from the south and now based in southwest Colorado, where we have the pleasure of working with them year round!

Today the team will meet for the first time in Anchorage, where they will carefully select their snack lunches that will fuel them up the mountain, go through all gear and make any last minute purchases, and enjoy their first dinner together (and one of their last restaurant meals for a good while). Tomorrow, they will pack up all of their food and supplies for up to 22 days on the mountain and drive a few hours north to the small Alaskan hamlet of Talkeetna, where they’ll go through a climbing orientation and briefing with the National Park Service, and then load up a small plane with our friends at Talkeetna Air Taxi, for a stunning scenic flight into the Alaska Range. From Base Camp onward, the team will be on glacier and snow for the entirety of their expedition.

Once the team arrives on the Kahiltna Glacier at Denali Base Camp, they will organize all of their gear, and set off up the glacier on a night schedule–departing Base Camp at around 1 a.m. Once out in the Alaska Range, the team will call in updates via satellite phone, to keep friends and family at home in the loop with their progress up the route. While the team will try their best to call in each day, unforeseen circumstances might prevent this, like bad satellite phone reception, heavy storms, or the team might simply be too tired after a big day in the mountains. Keep in mind the adage of ‘No News is Good News’ throughout their expedition. Feel free to leave comments on the posts, but remember that the team won’t be able to see them until they return to Talkeetna after their expedition.

Best of luck to the team!

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  1. Jason hope your team makes he summit. I’m with you in spirit! Don’t let Eli and Ross catch up with you this week. Come visit me in Florida; will be living my dream vicariously through your expedition. Cheers, Gerard

  2. Best of luck to this awesome group. Looking forward to the updates as the Higgins duo makes their way to the top!

  3. Morgan,
    I believe you can sign up for trip reports at the bottom of this page.
    They come by electronic mail.
    Hope this helps

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