Meet Mountain Trip’s June 15 West Buttress Team!

We welcome the June 15th West Buttress climbers who have chosen to place their trust in Mountain Trip.

Denali, “The Great One,” or “The Roof of North America”, is often touted as the hardest of the Seven Summits, or highest peaks on each continent. Denali rises in stark contrast above the surrounding tundra, standing like an icy sentinel over south central Alaska, visible from over 100 miles away. The climbers of the June 15th team, who have gathered in Alaska from around the world, will be taking the classic West Buttress Route to the summit. The West Buttress is the most commonly used route by mountaineers to reach the 20,310′ summit which gains over 13,000 vertical feet from Base Camp.  The team will spend a maximum of 21 days on the route, three weeks ascending and descending the highest point in North America.

Let’s meet the climbers!

Kai Zinn from the US

Carola Boneff-Li from Germany

Mike Soldner from Germany

Marie-Pier Desharnais from Qatar

Jenny Davis from the US

John Reed from the US

and Melissa and Jack Plantz from the US.

Lead guide Fischer Hazen, who spends his year guiding in Colorado, will be assisted by guides Nick Nason, Dodge Garfield and Tyler Weller.

After an extensive gear check, team meeting and food packing session for the expedition, the team headed a few hours north to the end-of-the-road community of Talkeetna, Alaska, a jumping-off point for Alaska Range expeditions and the de facto gateway to Denali National Park. The Team participated in a mandatory orientation with the National Park Service, weighed-in the huge pile of expedition equipment with our air services provider Talkeetna Air Taxi, and then…….waited. The weather was too poor to fly so the team stayed at the bunk house at the airfield and they are hoping for clear weather today.

Here’s Fischer with the first trip report:


We would like to remind those at home that while we will do the best we can to post updates on the team every day, there might be a few lapses in communication. Please keep in mind the old adage “no news is good news,” and don’t be too alarmed if one, two or even three or four days pass without an audio update from the team. Although satellite phones are often great forms of communication, they sometimes experience difficulties above 14,000′ deep in the rugged Alaska Range, especially during storms. We will post audio recordings and photos directly from the team whenever possible.

For family members and friends at home who are following along at home, you are welcome and encouraged to post comments to your loved ones on the team, just know that they have no way of reading them once they fly into the Range, until after they return to the non-glaciated world and relative civilization of Talkeetna.

We wish the best of luck and success to the June 15 Team!

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  1. Great to hear the progress – we hope the weather has improved and that the team is on the way. Best of everything to you all. We will keep watching and listening – cheering you on! Carola is carrying the warm thoughts and hopes of many from “home” – which is all over! Go Carola! from Carol and John in New York

  2. Listening anxiously to the updates on weather and the forecast in the area. We know the team can stay focused with such a huge task facing you! Those cold nights are looming out there but things will improve. Good luck Carola. No hurry – be safe! Carol and John.

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