Meet the Team! The May 14th West Rib Denali Expedition

Please join us in welcoming our 5th Denali Expedition of the season: the May 14th West Rib Team! 

Yes, you read that right, this team will be attempting the West Rib Route, which is a technical route on the south face of Denali. Steeper, more exposed, more committing, and more serious than its neighbor, the West Buttress, the Rib is all about the climbing.

The May 14th West Rib team, ready to fly! Lead Guide Jesse is holding the infamous Talkeetna Air Taxi “hangar cat” Beaver (a true celebrity around the airstrip and a good luck charm for Denali climbers)!

The May 14th West Rib Expedition consists of:

  • Climber Kathrine Hennessy
  • Climber Kathryn Gilson

Led by their amazing guide team:

  • Lead Guide Jesse Yon
  • Assistant Guide Steven Van Sickle
West Rib route Denali

The West Rib Route ascends the striking ridge in the center of the photo.

Since its first ascent in 1959, the West Rib has continued to provide beautiful alpine climbing in a spectacular setting. Its rich history and moderately technical terrain still attract the best climbers as they hone their skills. FUN FACT: The first winter and first winter solo ascents were made by climbers who guided for Mountain Trip.

The Rib also demands that our guides combine their technical skills with their depth of Denali experience to give committed climbers the best chance of climbing a beautiful line on a huge peak. It doesn’t get much better than that!


The West Rib Route offers up some of the coolest campsites on Denali!


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, or no change in their situation due to weather, 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.

Also, don’t forget that you can subscribe to this expedition’s Field Reports by entering your email address in the form to the right. That way, you never miss an update!

Interested in more information about conditions and happenings on Denali? Be sure to also check out the Denali National Park’s Denali Dispatches Blog where they post weekly Field Reports.



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