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Denali 2005: Alpine Ascents Denali 2005: Walking Heads caches at 10,000 feet


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

Walking Heads caches at 10,000 feet June 22, 2005    
Hello this is the Wednesday June 22nd cybercast for Team Walking Heads. We were able to fly in on Monday and we got to Base Camp on a lovely afternoon, it was a beautiful flight in. In the afternoon ate hamburgers for dinner at Base Camp, rested there for a few hours and then headed out of Base Camp at about 1:00 in the morning for about 6 hours. It was a beautiful night, the night of the solstice, lots of light, beautiful peaks on the horizon, gorgeous evening, and we made it to Camp I, 7,800 feet at around 7:00 in the morning. We set up camp there, slept kind of on and off throughout the day, established ourselves there and got in some good habits of camping and getting ourselves on a good track and everyone seems to be doing really well. Everybody woke up kind of early this morning around 2:00 this morning and headed out a little after 4, we are making our way up to the 10,000 foot level on the glacier where we will spend our time putting in a cache. Right now the weather has deteriorated a bit, and we are traveling in maybe 100 foot visibility, white-out conditions but that’s okay, the trail is still in good condition and everyone is moving well and we expect to get back to our camp at 7,800 feet at around noon or so. We’ll sleep again during the day and hopefully mosey on up the glacier tomorrow.

The team which I didn’t really introduce before consists of seven folks, myself Andy Rich and Molly Loomis are the guides. Our climbers are Rob Evans, Greg Chlebicki, David Ferrill, Miek Girard, Paul Cutarelli. Everyone is moving along really well, having a good time, the team is getting along really well and we’re having a great time. On track and another nice thing about this trip is that things have quieted down, it was fairly crowded on the mountain the last few weeks, and there are many fewer people up here, which is really nice. We also ran in to Mark Fisher and a couple of climbers from Alpine Ascents 9, heading down today, it seemed like they were in good spirits and heading on their way out. And that’s about it for Team Walking Heads, take care cyber-climbers

Updates

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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