Mountain Trip Guide Karl Welter called in with an update on the June 5 Denali West Buttress Team.
With their cache all set up at 16,500′, the team is ready to move to High Camp as soon as weather allows. They experienced a very hot day on the glacier, retreating to their tents in the afternoon to escape the relentless glare of the sun off of the miles and miles of ice and snow around them. Terrible sunburns are not uncommon on Denali, so teams must wear lots of sun protection. Although you wouldn’t think of heat as an element climbers must battle, it’s often one of the most prevalent struggles, especially later in the season as the weather grows warmer.
However, the sunshine may not last for long. The team spent part of their day cutting strong snow blocks and constructing walls to protect their tents and kitchen mid from the strong winds and blowing snow that are expected to begin above 14,000′ on the mountain this evening.
Karl said that several other Mountain Trip teams have arrived to Camp 3 at 14,200′, so there’s quite a strong sense of camaraderie around camp at the moment.
This also happens to be the first dispatch from the June 5 team that has no mention whatsoever of their meals that day.
Here’s Karl with the update: