Meet the May 23 Denali West Buttress Team!

view of Denali

Mighty Denali – “The High One” – as seen from Kahiltna Base Camp

This will be our 47th season guiding on Denali, and we’re honored to welcome the May 23 team and all of the other climbers that have trusted us to help them test their fortitude on the highest mountain in North America. We’re incredibly excited to have teams back in the Alaska Range after a year hiatus. Last year was the first season in 46 years that we have not led a team to the summit of Denali, and we spent the year feeling like something was missing. We’re glad to be back to say the least.

At 20,310 feet (6190 m), majestic Denali rises a full 18,000 feet 5486 m) above its surrounding landscape.  It has the highest vertical rise of any mountain on earth, and due to its location so close to the Arctic Circle, conditions can often be very winter-like well into the summer months. The team will undoubtedly experience some cold temperatures with their early May departure, but have the benefit of (generally) less snowfall and fewer teams on the mountain. Around the solstice, the Alaska Range experiences over 20 hours of daylight, and even in the depths of night the sun never truly sets. The West Buttress, the route the team will be taking, will lead them through heavily glaciated terrain from their current location at base camp on the Kahiltna Glacier at 7,200′, to Camp One at 7,800′, Camp Two at 11,200′, Camp Three at 14,200′, High Camp at 17,200′, to–conditions permitting–the 20,310′ summit.

Let’s meet the climbers!

Jay Beaudoin

Josh Cummins

Nick Ciuzio

Art Missirlian

The Mountain Trip guide team will be led by Yoshiko Miyazaki who will be assisted by Dodge Garfield, Matthew Koenig and Marcus Bailado.

In these photos the team is carefully curating their selection of snacks and food for on-the-go lunches while on the mountain, in the sunshine near the Lakefront Hotel in Anchorage.

Tomorrow the team will load up from Anchorage and drive a few hours north to the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska, where (weather permitting!) they will load up all of their gear and supplies for 22-days on the mountain, and take a stunning flight into the heart of the Alaska Range with our friends at Talkeetna Air Taxi. Once they land on the glacier and begin making their way up the route, they’ll call in regular audio updates via satellite phone that we’ll post here, so that friends and family at home can follow along with the progress of the climb.

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!

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  1. This is for Josh Cummins-
    I hope you’re having an amazing time so far! Please be so safe and take it all in! I’m so excited for your adventure and know you will do great. Best of luck & I can’t wait to see you when you’re home! Love Kylie

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