May 8 West Buttress Team – Alaska “spring” weather at Camp One

Mountain Trip guide Fischer Hazen called in an update from Camp One on the Denali West Buttress at 7,800′. The team sounds to be “inside a ping pong ball,” a common weather phenomenon on Denali where the visibility essentially dissipates to near nothing, and it is a bit disorienting trying to route-find when one can’t clearly tell the ground from the sky.

Fischer noted that high winds, blowing snow and this limited visibility prevented the team from moving higher to bury their first cache.

Instead, they had french toast for breakfast, quesadillas for lunch, burritos for dinner (and likely getting a start on the reading that they brought along). An aspect of the Mountain Trip philosophy is while you certainly can’t control the weather you’re climbing in, you can control the quality of the meals you make–and that can make all the difference in morale in the mountains.

The team plans to cache up near Kahiltna Pass at around 10,500′ once the weather clears–hopefully sooner rather than later. The snow is forecasted to continue steadily throughout the day. You can check out the climbing forecast HERE. It appears that a high pressure system will move into the range over the coming days, making for better weather for climbing.

Unfortunately, Fischer’s message cuts out near the end:

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