May 29 West Buttress Team keeping busy at 14-Camp

Climber Matt Howell called in from snowy 14-Camp with an update on the May 29 West Buttress team, who are staying busy and weathering the storm that has persisted for just under a week.

The team finally caught a glimpse of blue sky yesterday, which bred some optimism for their chances of heading up to High Camp soon. While the guides check the climbing forecast religiously from several different outlets, sometimes the mountains have their own ideas, making it necessary for guides to be able to “read” the weather and anticipate if the storm will clear or worsen.

They will have to stay partially packed and ready to move at any moment to take advantage of a weather window that will allow them to move up to High Camp at 17,200′. They are joined by most of the other Mountain Trip teams at camp, all waiting for their opportunity to continue higher up the route.

In terms of weather, this has been particularly difficult, with less than 30 percent of climbers successfully making the summit at 20,310′, and most teams being forced to wait out storms in 14-Camp for upwards of a week.

We’re thinking warm thoughts for the team!

Here’s Matt with the quick update:

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  1. Oh. Great to hear everyone is doing well. Especially wonderful to hear my husbands voice.. I love you Matt Howell!!!

    Come on Denali! Clear the path. It’s all up to you. And, well, after the path is cleared… it’s you to each individual with the help of the guides and team. Come on team!

  2. Sending hopes for better weather tomorrow. I’m sure you’ve all had enough of 14 camp and are ready to move on! You’ll be well-fed and well-rested and ready to go as soon as Denali cooperates! Love to Gerard and my best to Ross and the other members of the team!

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