June 2 West Buttress Team calls from Camp 1

Climber Matt Foote called in the first update from the glacier for the June 2 Denali West Buttress Team!

They flew into Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier at 7,200′ in the late afternoon, where their Mountain Trip guides cooked dinner and reviewed crevasse rescue, glacier travel, and taught everyone how to properly rig up their sleds, which will be used to pull additional gear between the lower camps.

After a bit of rest, they awoke at 2:30 a.m., quickly broke camp and loaded up, and left Base Camp by 5 a.m. For those at home that aren’t familiar with Alaska during the summertime, the sun rises at around 2:30 (and only truly sets for a very short time), meaning travel with headlamps through the dark is essentially never a necessity.

It took them about five hours to move to Camp One at 7,800′, a day that doesn’t involve a lot of uphill, but a considerable amount of distance. For the move from Base Camp to Camp One, the team was also carrying the heaviest loads they will shoulder throughout the trip, with upwards of 80 pounds in their packs and another 20 to 30 pounds loaded in their sleds.

The team’s next order of business is to bury a cache at the top of Ski Hill, above Camp One, to alleviate some of that weight for when they move up to their Camp Two at 11,200′.

Here’s Matt:

Share Button


  1. Hello to Pachi (or Maria I’m not sure what you call her haha) She’s my mom!! So proud of her. Will continue to read your updates. Big hug to all the team, hope you really enjoy yourselves, climbing is all about loving life and having fun with friends. Best of luck!!!

  2. Hi Matt, well you’re on your way. Sounds all good so far, even the food. Good Luck. Love Desley and Nev

  3. Hey Matt,
    Great to hear your update. Couldn’t hear your teeth chattering so you must be keeping warm! Keep trekking! Love Kel and Neil

  4. Good to hear you’re all doing well Matt! Thanks for the update! I knew you would talk about the food 😉

  5. Hey Matt, so good to hear your ‘Aussie’ voice. Glad you’re enjoying good weather, food and company. Hope the glacier and weather are kind to you! WE MISS YOU here – all of us. You missed a pizza feast today! Cheers from Melanie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.