Grant Maughn called in from Camp 1, down at 7,800′ after the team decided to throw in the proverbial towel. They have been stuck in foul weather for days and tomorrow was the day by which they needed to head further up the mountain, if they were going to have sufficient time to reach the top and then descend in time to make their respective flights home. Unfortunately, the weather has not improved, and there is another storm lined up to take up residence over the mountain, so they decided to try to beat the second storm and dropped back down the mountain.
Such decisions are part of climbing big, cold mountains, but they are never easy. In this case, the team just had no chance to push higher on the mountain, despite having more than a week of reserve, contingency days in their schedule. The weather made the decision for them…
We look forward to hearing a recap of the expedition from the team, after they make it back to Anchorage.
Here is Grant, calling from Camp 1:
*** UPDATE – The team pulled out from Camp 1 early this morning and is now back at Base Camp, hopeful to take advantage of a clearing in the lower elevation weather that seems to be shaping up, to get off the glacier before the next storm rolls onto the Alaska Range.