June 23 Team – Moved to 14,200′

In the face of yet another day of tough, whiteout conditions, the team pushed up from their previous camp and have established themselves in a large basin at 14,200′.  This camp is often bustling with other climbing teams and is also home to a large National Park Service presence.  The Rangers maintain a camp here during the climbing season and staff it with medical personnel as well.

The team climbed 1000′ straight out of their camp, up a slope known as Motorcycle Hill.  Cresting the hill, they then had two moderately steep slopes that drain off to the climbers’ right, eventually funneling any sliding objects off a thousands of feet high precipice an onto the Peter’s Glacier below.  Climbers tread carefully up those slopes!

denali

A MT climber tops out on Motorcycle Hill. The trail then climbs up and right, passing the rightmost rock in the image. The West Buttress is the prominent “Peak” looking feature at top.

The route then made a long, gradually rising slope alongside the craggy rocky flutes of the West Buttress proper.  Many snow chutes or “couloirs” in climbing parlance, wind their way through the rocks to the glacier below.  After hiking a half mile along that slope, the route climbs up around one particularly steep and pronounced rocky ridge, which is known as Windy Corner, before ascending along another glacier (this one is a “hanging glacier, meaning it drops off a shear cliff at its terminus!) up into camp.

Tomorrow will be a relatively easy day.  They will drop down from camp and retrieve the cache of supplies they buried a couple days ago.  This will only require a couple of hours of work, leaving the team plenty of time to review skills that they will use on the upper mountain.

Here’s Sean McManamy with the update!

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4 Comments
  1. Jayme

    Awesome!! This news made my day. White-out experts! Love you Josh! (emoticon heart! ;))

  2. Lili

    Good luck to everybody!
    Sämi, ich wünsche dir und allne ganz viel Schwung für di nöchste Etappe 🙂 Ich hoff s Wetter macht mit! D+K

  3. Dan Stoll

    Will,

    It’s great to read of your team’s progress. We are praying for God’s protection on you and your team. Enjoy the climb. We are excited for you!

    Blessings.

    -Dan

  4. Charlotte Palmer

    Hi, Will!
    I had a long “catch-up” conversation with your folks yesterday and told them I was enjoying following your climbing progress. Are you the mystery man in green with the face protector?
    Cheers for you in this “peak” experience!
    Prayers for your team’s success!
    Char

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