Climber ZinZan Newton called via satellite phone with an update on the Mountain Trip June 26 West Buttress Expedition on Denali.
The team is still at camp at 11,200′ after a weather and rest day to continue their acclimatization process. They will likely take another rest day today (July 2) before moving camp to 14,200′, weather permitting. They will then take another Park Service mandated rest day at Camp 3 before moving to High Camp, to avoid the dangers that accompany ascending Denali too quickly.
ZinZan said that the team was able to enjoy a late morning wake up and a big breakfast of pancakes and syrup before a long rest day. Camp at 11,200′ tends to be particularly snowy, so the climbers likely got a chance to catch up on their sleep and their reading while waiting for a window of clear weather to move higher. Weather days like this are unavoidable on a high mountain so close to the Arctic Circle, like Denali.
The team will likely celebrate the Fourth of July holiday from camp at 14,200′, and will be trading in fireworks, barbecue and parades for fixed lines, midnight sun and cached food. There has been fireworks on the mountain in years past, but the rumor is that the Park Service has become understandably more strict about carrying explosives up the mountain.
Here’s ZinZan with the update: