Traverse Team – Leaving us in suspense?

Bart and Paul called in from high camp to let us all know what they are planning to do, as they are rapidly running out of food, fuel and time.  Those of you who speak Dutch are fortunate, as Paul lost the satellite signal at exactly the right moment to keep us English speakers in suspense!

I have a bit of an inside scoop, here in the Mountain Trip HQ, and this is my understanding of their upcoming course of action.  The team made all the necessary arrangements with family, work and life in general, to remain in Alaska until the 14th.  Today is the 10th.  It is going to take then a couple of days to make the 10,000′ (3000m) descent back down to base camp.  The math adds up to dictate that they are just about out of time and will try to get down as soon as possible.

As unreliable as the Denali weather forecast has traditionally been, it has been pretty spot on this season…  The winds are forecasted to remain fairly high until the 14th.

Weather is undoubtedly the biggest reason that climbers do not make the summit of Denali.  You cannot push it into poor weather on the upper reaches of the mountain.  Occasionally, a team will start up and find themselves in bad weather that presents itself quite quickly, but no one in their right mind will start their summit bid on Denali in poor weather.  This team never had a shot at the top, as they never had a decent window after they made their move up to high camp.

We’ll see what happens.  Maybe the forecast will prove wrong and the winds will diminish enough for the guys to make a shot for the top.  Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed and hope this is the case.

Here’s Bart and a bit of Paul:


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