May 30 Denali Team – Headed To High Camp!

Paul, Ryan and Shaira called in as the team prepared to load their backpacks and start the long, tough climb up to High Camp!  The team has been managing some very challenging weather in recent days, but today conditions have improved and they are moving up the mountain.  The first hour or so of climbing will take them up a moderately steep snow slope, after which they will arrive at the bottom of the steepest section of the route.

“The Headwall,” is it is often called, is a 40-45 degree slope that is about 600′ high.  The National Park Service and the guide services collaborate to maintain two sets fo “fixed lines” that run its length.  The lines enable ascending and descending climbers to clip their ascenders (glorified rope clamps that are attached to their harnesses) to the ropes to provide protection in the event of a slip.  This stretch of route is considered fun by some and grueling by others, but it is always attention getting!

Above the Headwall, the team will follow a fun and engaging ridge line that runs another 1000′ up to the site of their 17,200′ High Camp.  The climbing on the ridge is some of my favorite on the route, as it weaves in and out of rocky sections, skirts huge rock outcrops and treads along the very crest of knife-edged snow.  The exposure is tremendous, with HUGE air on either side of the latter sections!

Here is the team!

recording

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3 Comments
  1. Mike hopkins

    Team been watching your excellent progress wish I was there too, enjoy and be safe on your way to the summit cheers mike

  2. Heidi

    Was great to hear Shaira’s happy voice, and I wish her and all the other climbers a great push to the top!

  3. Heidi

    I just noticed the comments over the last few days have all been directed to Shai, so I thought I would share the love. Great job and keep it up Paul and Ryan. Fantastic work. I am so proud of you both! At least as proud as anyone who has never met you can be 🙂

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