Guide Adam Smith of the May 19 team called in from High Camp at 17,200′ on the West Buttress route, the final camp before the push to the summit of Denali at 20,320′! Aparna, Linda and guides have been making great, steady progress up the route, and enjoyed clear, sunny weather up the fixed lines between 14-Camp and High Camp.
While the weather looks good and clear to attempt the summit, the team is discussing whether or not they will head up the final section of the route right away, or wait.
If they’re feeling up to it, they’ll likely head for the summit today, Monday June 5. If they want to take another rest and mental preparation day, it looks like the clear weather will hold for them to do so and potentially head for the summit tomorrow.
Summit day is often the toughest day of the trip for climbers, both physically and mentally. It features about 3,000′ of vertical gain and subsequent loss, high exposure and the psychological pressure of finally reaching the goal that they have endeavored towards for the past couple of weeks (and trained for for the past several months). Summit day generally takes teams anywhere between eight and 12 hours, depending to which camp they decide to descend.
We will keep you updated on the team’s decision.