Team 5 chooses a name and
caches at 10,000 feet
May 25, 2005: Greetings, this is Ben Billings calling with Denali 5. Today is
Wednesday the 25th and we are calling with our first on-mountain cybercast at
10,000 feet. We’ve had a very productive, successful trip so far, we were able
to fly into the glacier on Sunday afternoon, although we were way behind
schedule at the airport and didn’t think we were going to get out, but we did,
which everyone was very excited about. Sunday night we set up a good camp at
the airstrip and had hamburgers and spent a nice night. The next morning we
woke up and headed into the glacier for a day of skills practice before
heading out on the route. On Tuesday we headed up glacier to 7,800 feet and
made our second camp after a long and white-out day we got into camp in some
snowy conditions, everybody enjoyed the whiteout however because it was a good
respite from the sun. Tuesday night was a beautiful clear evening and we woke
up Wednesday to a clear but cold sunny day, perfect for moving our cache up to
Everyone is in great spirits and doing wonderfully. Everyone is happy and
comfortable and being very productive and team oriented, a fun group all
together. We will be moving back down to 7,800 to spend the night at camp,
tomorrow moving up to 11,000 feet, where we will spend 3 nights including a
back carry to 10,000 to pick up our cache and a carry up to 13,000 feet to
make a new cache, followed by a move to 14,000 feet to establish our next
The most exciting news might be that we have finally decided on a team name
after much debate, we are now to be referred to as Team Don’t Panic. Well
that’s it for us, hello to all of our friends and family back at home and we
look forward to keeping you posted with another cybercast. So long, Team Don’t
Panic over and 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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