May 4th Denali Team Calls From Camp 1

Gustav Deuss called in a couple of updates from Camp 1 after he and the team carried a load of supplies up the Kahiltna earlier in the day.  We’ll post them both, as it’s nice to hear from him.  By the good-natured ribbing in the second one, I think they’re having a good time!

Denali expeditions require lots of food and fuel, which equates to massive piles of “stuff,” when combined with all the requisite clothing, shovels, tents, equipment, and miscellany.  By moving roughly half their total ahead of their current camp, something called “making a carry,” or having a “carry day,” in climber-speak, they are able to both move their mountain of kit and also ease their bodies into each new elevation more easily.  This system of carrying supplies higher, “caching” them in the snow, before returning to sleep at the lower camp is also referred to as climbing high and sleeping low.  Their bodies get a taste of the new elevation before committing to it for the night, which aids their acclimatization.

Today they climbed up about 2200′ (670 m) to about 10,000′ (3048 m).  They dug a deep pit in the snow and buried their cache of supplies to protect it from ravens, which are known to dig a meter deep to get to climbers’ food.  It was a clear day on the Kahiltna, which means it was very HOT.  Hard to imagine, right?  It can get incredibly hot on the glacier, and the sun’s rays are reflected by the snow in all directions, making them hard to escape.  Heat is tough to mitigate as was evident from Gustav’s report.

After burying their cache, they dropped back to Camp 1 at 7800′ (2377 m) for the night.  Tomorrow, they will climb up past their cache and continue to Camp 2 at 11,200′.

Here’s Gustav!


and #2

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