May 22 West Buttress team returns to 14-Camp due to bad weather up high

Mountain Trip lead guide Nick Aiello called in from 14,200′ on the West Buttress after the team made their descent from High Camp, forced to turn back by the weather. Unfortunately, their weather window slammed shut, and after a day in extremely high winds at camp, they made the difficult decision to descend. The team then battled the winds on the ridge and fixed lines downhill to 14-Camp.

They will likely plan their descent over the next few days if the weather continues to worsen. Ultimately, it is often the will of the mountain–and not the will of the climbers–that determines whether or not a team will make it up to 20,310′. Not one hopes to climb Denali because it is easy.

Reaching the top of the High One does not come easy, and even spending several weeks traveling on glaciated terrain with tremendous loads of gear, and braving the elements from sweltering heat, to blowing snow, to frigid cold.

The weather is forecasted to grow even worse at high elevations on the mountain.

Here’s Nick:

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  1. Well played Scott, Abe, Jake, Anna and team — so disappointing and even more amazing what you’ve accomplished– praying for a safe descent and clear weather off the mountain! Love you and proud of you!

  2. Such an incredible adventure and achievement that very few have the ability or fortitude to even attempt!
    Hold your heads high Wheelers and entire May 22nd team!!

    Mike & Wendy

  3. Wheelers, we are still amazed at all you’ve accomplished! Descend safely and we look forward to seeing you again sometime.

    Jenny, Mike, Grant, & Wes

  4. Wheelers and Team- Splendid effort by everyone. You battled through every challenge the mountain had to offer. Safe travels home and hope to talk soon.

  5. Cudos to you all! What great stamina and determination! An adventure of a lifetime to be cherished. Prayers for a continued safe journey.
    Jim and Debbie Riedy

  6. What an amazing experience! We have been with you in spirit the whole way. Be safe on the descent and we will see you soon.

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