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Denali 2005: Alpine Ascents Denali 2005: Still enduring the weather

Denali (20,320ft/6,195m) Alaska

Mixed Nuts still enduring the weather
June 8, 2005    
Hey everybody this is Alp 6, the Mixed Nuts at 17,200 feet on Mount McKinley. Whoooo! We’re encountering some real Denali weather. Also night we had about 50mph + winds. Whiteout conditions, visibility less than 100 yards, you have to be careful about getting lost walking around camp. Kik wants his wife to know that he is doing great, but we have been unable to make an international call, so he has not been able to call her. Other than that we’re just kind of hunkered down waiting for the weather, we’re all acclimatized, we got lots of food and fuel, everybody is doing great and we are just looking forward to the weather breaking and going to the summit, that’s all from Forrest McCarthy and the Mixed Nuts, bye.

Man Show socked in at 14
June 8, 2005    
Hello this is Alpine Ascents Denali #7, Man Show checking in again from 14.2 in a blizzard. Gary would like to say a belated happy birthday to Chris, I apologize for not getting that in yesterday. We have been shut down, the mountain has been shut down today due to the raging blizzard. We’re thinking it will clear tomorrow for our move to 17. We were able to retrieve a cache here at 14 to get more coffee for the team. Everybody is doing well, and sends big hugs and love to their family and friends back home, talk to you tomorrow.

Mixed Nuts weathering the storm
June 7, 2005    
Hi everybody this is Duane Mortenson from the Mixed Nuts. We are still up here at High Camp, hunkered down tight, big storm up here, winds are super high today, blowing spindrifts all over the place. We spent half the day making double snow walls, butting blocks with saws and working really hard to reinforce our protection from the storm. But everybody worked hard, we’re in good spirits and healthy, warm just had a nice meal of burritos and hot drinks and we’re all doing well. Hopefully this storm will taper off so we can have a shot at the summit. But we are sitting up here with about a week’s worth of food and fuel so we’re just going to hold tight and endure the mountain storm. It’s cold and brutal up here, but we’re living well.

A message goes out to Elise from Jacques big kisses to Elise for her birthday and to Jean, Sarah, and Mary Ann from Papa. So take care y’all thanks for tuning in to our cybercast and keeping track of us and we’ll talk to you tomorrow, love you all, Mixed Nuts out.


Overview: There are certain mountains that need no explanation as to why climb. Denali is such a mountain. Its tremendous size and beauty generate a magnetism that continually draws climbers from around the world. An ascent of Denali, touches the psyche of all alpinists and for those who have undertaken its challenges, it rewards them with an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Denali is often considered America's most classic climb. From top to bottom, it rises nearly 18,000', an elevation gain unsurpassed anywhere in the world. At a northern latitude of 63°, it is the most northerly of any big mountain over 20,000'. No other region offers such breathtaking and diverse views each day of the ascent. The panorama from Denali's summit includes Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter and Mt. Huntington in all their majestic glory.

When Dr. Bradford Washburn pioneered the West Buttress route, he heralded in a new era of Denali ascents and offered climbers a unique approach to the summit. The flight onto the glacier is a trip in itself, presenting overwhelming vistas of the Alaska Range. The West Buttress route remains, by far, the most successfully climbed route on the mountain.

Climb Overview: A Denali climb begins deep in the heart of the Alaska Mountain Range on the Kahiltna Glacier. From the S.E. Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier we begin the climb of Denali's West Buttress. Base Camp plus five higher camps are established on the mountain. When necessary, the team makes double carries between all camps, except high camp, to ensure proper acclimatization and reduce loads. In each camp we build snow walls for protection from possible high winds. The climb takes approximately 17-18 days round trip from Base camp.


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