May 7 Denali Private Team – The Expedition Begins!

A welcomed update from climber Graeme Keene from Denali Basecamp! Graham is a climber all the way from the UK & after patiently waiting in Talkeetna for 3 days was finally able to board a Talkeetna Air Taxi flight to Denali basecamp at 7,200 ft (2195 m).

Together with his guide team, Jesse & Patrick, Graeme touched down on the glacier in full sunshine & got his first views of the West Buttress objective: the highest peak in North America! The Denali basecamp itself is stunning, remote, and surrounded by snow-covered peaks everywhere you look – a fitting place to begin the journey of climbing Denali.

After landing & unloading the crew’s expedition gear they set up camp, namely the kitchen. Did you know each crew that flies into the range is carrying hundreds of pounds of food, gear, & fuel with them?

While Patrick prepared an Italian feast in the camp kitchen, Jesse gave Graeme an in-depth, 1:1 briefing on what to expect for the first leg of the journey.

After a warm meal & lots of hydrating the team will bed down to rise early tomorrow to make the journey to Camp 1 at 7,800 ft (2378 m). This is the first official day of the climb & likely the heaviest! On their way out of basecamp, they will pass through fields of crevasses that may just be starting to open with warmer temperatures with snowshoes on for “flotation devices”.

Good luck, team!


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