Mountain Trip guide Aaron Diamond called in with the first update on the June 9 Denali West Buttress team, who have arrived at Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier after waiting out a few days of bad weather in Talkeetna before they could fly into the Alaska Range.
Here’s a photo of the team all together before leaving Anchorage:
Aaron noted that the team will leave Base Camp just as it begins to get colder and dark (well, dark-er as it doesn’t exactly get dark in the Alaska Range during the peak of summer, but rather dims to relative dusk for a few hours) to move camp up to 7,800′, Camp One on the route. While this may seem strange to those following along at home, traveling across the lower reaches of the Kahiltna glacier during the heat of the day can be incredibly dangerous; the majority of the glacier, is not solid ice, but rather is lined with deep crevasses, many of which are covered by snow bridges, making them invisible to the unsuspecting climber. However, during the evening when temperatures are at their lowest, ensuring that the snow bridges are all frozen solid and not prone to collapse.
They will likely continue to travel on a night schedule until they reach Camp Two at 11,200′.
The team will call in their next update from Camp One, once they have settled in and set up camp.