The May 6 team is making great progress up the route after a good weather window the past couple of days! After a long push from 11,200′, the team made the move up to 14,200′–commonly known as “14-Camp.”
They spent a long night after their arrival building camp: leveling tent platforms and digging out a kitchen and bathroom area to make high on Denali significantly more livable. From camp, they have stunning, panoramic views of Mount Hunter and Foraker to the south, other, lesser-known giants of the Alaska Range.
Their plan for today, Saturday May 18, is to backcarry to retrieve their cache that they set a few days ago above Windy Corner at around 13,500′. Tomorrow they plan to take a rest day and perhaps practice some essential skills for higher on the route, like crampon and ice axe technique and fixed line ascension. From here on out, the team will trade in snowshoes for crampons, and the route becomes steeper and more exposed.
They will spend a few days at 14,200′ acclimatizing to the thinner air of the upper mountain and making sure that they are adapting well to the thinner air, sleeping higher than most points in the lower-48.
Here’s lead Mountain Trip guide Brian Kramp with the update. Great work, team!