Mountain Trip lead guide Ian Nicholson called in with an update on the June 11 Denali West Buttress expedition.
The team took a weather window and pushed up the fixed lines from 14,200′ to 17,200′, the High Camp on the West Buttress Route, one of the steepest and most strenuous sections on the route. The team felt strong and ascended efficiently after practicing fixed line technique at 14-Camp. The ascent from 14,200′ to High Camp at 17,200′ is a long, tough day of climbing, and the team is taking a rest day at High Camp to wait for a window of low wind, high visibility and good conditions to head for the summit!
Ian also gave a shout out to his wife, Rebecca, and little one Henry back home. All of the climbers are undoubtedly missing their loved ones back home.
Climbing on Denali around the summer solstice is a unique and otherworldly beautiful experience; there are nearly 20 hours of full daylight, with the other four hours of the day in deep purple dusk, with the sun rotating rather than setting, just below the mountainous horizon. You can see the sun and the moon simultaneously in the sky, and the strange orange-golden light reflects off of the lakes and rivers across the lowlands of Denali National Park.
The team will make their summit bid within the next few days, weather permitting.
Here’s Ian with the update: