On Saturday, May 16th, a small group of climbers met in Anchorage, AK to join a team of Mountain Trip guides for an attempt to climb the highest peak in North America. Denali rises 20,320′ above the not-too-distant sea. Located close to the Arctic Circle, it is famous for presenting climbers with extreme cold and weather, in addition to it’s high elevation. Climbers have been attempting to climb the peak for over 100 years and in 2013 we celebrated the centennial of the first ascent of the mountain.
Olivier Vriesendorp from Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
Olof Sandstedt from Stockholm, Sweden
David Jones from Beverly Hills, CA
Kees Vester from Utrecht, The Netherlands
David Teahan from New South Wales, Australia
Rick Notley from Seattle, Washington
And our team of Alaska based guides:
Danny Donovan from Alaska
The team has had a busy couple of days, starting off with the Team Meeting/Equipment Check on May 16th. The team enjoyed some free time the afternoon and evening of May 16th before waking early and traveling to Talkeetna on May 17th. In Talkeetna, the team checked in with the National Park Service and attended a mandatory climber orientation presented by an NPS ranger. Then the team checked in with our air taxi service, weighed and loaded all of the expedition equipment and supplies onto Twin Otters, and flew to Base Camp. Guide Eli Potter reports that the weather was beautiful for the flight to the glacier. The team quickly got to work setting up tents, organizing equipment, and then going over skills training and rope work.
Here are a few photos from Talkeetna, prior to taking off.
The plan is to move to Camp 1 at 7800′ today.
We will post updates on the team’s progress as we hear from them, but often, weather and work can prevent teams from calling out on their satellite phones. Please keep in mind that no news is truly good news.