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  Alpine Ascents Denali: Unfavorable Conditions Force Final Teams Down

July 15:

David, Brian, and Joe through a blog post.  We're here on the Tarmac of Talkeetna--we're back in town! Quite stoked. It was not for sure we'd be able to fly out.

July 14:

This is David, Brian and Joe. We've got a few folks with us so it's really Team AlpineAscent's Teams 14,13, and 12--The Caboose on the Loose.

Yesterday was a wild day for us, a very long day. We made it to Base Camp. Last night we left around 9 o'clock at night. Packed up with a big load of sleds we went down the mountain to 11,000. We got our cache then when we got into--it was a semi cloudy really cool sunset and then we continued from there so all night basically from 11 to Base Camp we were in pea soup, so in the thick of the fog--down to 78 Camp kind of going back through time to some of the places we'd been to a few weeks ago. When we got to 78 we rearranged and we were underneath the clouds. At this time it was snowing. The last leg 78 to base camp was pretty nice really. The glacier was in good condition...We crossed many bridges but they were all very solid.  It was snowing so when we got up to Base Camp there were no flights... We set up our cook tent had a meal and went to sleep.

The excitement came when all of a sudden right at the edge of when TAT our flight service closes, we saw a hole in the sky, called them, and boom! they came in. Spiraled in the hole and came down. That was really cool. The folks that were ahead of us, we helped them move into the planes and they all flew out.

At this point, it's the next day; our camp is still set up. We're going to have a nice pancake breakfast...That's the story in a nutshell. We have some visibility at this point, but flights are not able to fly in quite yet. We're pretty confident they'll come in before Monday. Hopefully they'll come in today--Saturday.  We'll see what happens.  We're on standby. We're still here on the glacier...Ready to rock n roll. Ready to go home.


July 11:

Team 12 – Snow Conditions Have Stabilized For Descent

Team 13 Diverges, Some Merging with Team 14 to Await Improved Snow Conditions, Some Descending


July 10

Team 12 Runs Out of Weather Days, Making Plans to Descend When Conditions Improve

Team 13, Waiting For Snowpack to Settle, Making Plans For the Coming Days

July 9

Team 12, Experiencing Groundhog Day Conditions, Still Doing Well, Still Waiting for Weather to Clear to Head Up

Team 14, French Toast, Shoveling Snow, Team Bonding and Podcasts

July 8

Team 12 Still Waiting for Weather Window to Move Up, Enjoying Pancakes and Movies

Team 13 In High Spirits, Despite An Unscheduled Rest Day Due To Snow Conditions

Team 14 Hunkered Down at 14, Currently All Teams on Denali Are Gathered at 14.2 Camp


July 7:

Winds Kept Team 12 At 14,000 Feet, Where They Spent Some Time Building Igloos While Awaiting Calmer Weather

Team 13 Began The Day With Music And Pancakes, Then Built Storm Walls In Preparation For The Incoming Weather

July 5: After 5 Days of internet interruption due to major power outages across Middle and Eastern US, EverestNews is happy to catch up with the Alpine Ascent Teams in their expeditions:

Team 11 “First World Problems” back in Talkeetna safely!
Posted on July 5, 2012

Hello everyone,

We flew out from Denali basecamp today after a great night’s rest at around 2:30pm and landed safely in Talkeetna finishing the trip!

We woke today, Independence day, with partly cloudy skies, and a little snow, but after some clouds parting and with the expertise of the pilots at Talkeetna Air Taxi we were able to fly out of basecamp. After helping to stomp out the runway on the Kahiltna glacier with our snowshoes, and the pilots doing a few take off’s and landings the runway was ready to go, and we were ready for the planes to come in and bring us to civilization! We were lucky, and the clouds and fog lifted and the "Otter" came in and landed with no problem. We helped pack up our gear and loaded ourselves on the plane and soon took off after some fog lifted.

We had a great lunch in Talkeetna at the "West Rib" and headed back to the the Alpine Ascents basecamp to sort gear and finish the trip.

Everyone did a great job on the expedition and we appreciate all their hard work to get to the summit or their highest point!

Here are a few pictures from the expedition. Thanks for following along.

Come join us next year on Denali!

Ben Jones
img 1320

Honey Badgers Settled In At 14,200 Foot Camp, After An Amazing Day Back Carrying And Plans To Cache Tomorrow

Eating Cheesecake At 14,200 Feet, Team 12 Waiting Out The Winds And Hoping To Head To High Camp Tomorrow

Team 14 Enjoying A Rest Day In The Sun, After Caching To 13,500 Through Windy Corner



Hi this is Ben and Eric. Our new name for Team 11 is Mo Money, Mo Problems. [Or he said Mo Money, No Problems.]

We're doing well here. We're at 14,200 ft still. A little snow today, a little cloudy, not much wind. We were able to climb up to about 15,200 ft or so and put a cache of food and fuel up there that we're going to carry up for our summit bid. We had a lot of snow falling...we turned around. Everybody is doing well. feeling good. Had some fantastic pizza and pudding. Now we're all in bed. Tomorrow we'll see what the weather brings us and hopefully push our cache up to the top of the fix lines on the west buttress proper. We're all doing well; we're still doing good on time. Looks like the weather is going to clear in the next couple of days and we're going to get a good chance [garbled] and up to the summit.


This is Ben Jones, Expedition Leader for Team 11: Silence Means Yes

We're doing great here at the 11,200ft camp. We decided to take a rest day today and enjoy getting some extra sleep, food, and water. We're getting hydtrated for our big move up to the 14,000 foot camp. Everybody is doing really well. Most of the day we spent having a nice long breakfast in the morning. We had french toast and lots of coffee and just hanging out most of the morning, afternoon and evening. Everybody is in bed now getting ready to get up tomorrow early and move upt to the 14,000 foot camp tomorrow.

One quick personal message: Brian wanted to tell his family he loves them and to tell his mom he's doing great. He wanted to tell Baby Laura he loves her. Everybody else says hello too back to their families. We're having a good time. We're having great weather.

Transmission breaks up..


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