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Denali 2005: Alpine Ascents Denali 2005: Team Ex Enjoys Rest Day at High Camp


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

Team Ex Enjoys Rest Day at High Camp June 26, 2005    
Spunky at 17,000, eating large and drinking plenty in the Posh with the gang. We had a beautiful day back-carrying from 16,200. Weather was sunny and relatively warm, with a minimum at minus 14. Rose unfortunately was helicoptered out with a broken foot, an accident on the headwall. Brennan stayed back at 14,000 waiting for the helicopter. Hopefully he’ll be back with us tomorrow. We’re checking weather, planning gear for a run to the top tomorrow. Send positive thoughts for good weather and a strong push, we’re all in good spirits and supporting each other, we love all of you and hold you close, big hugs.

Walking Heads Reaches 14 Camp June 26, 2005    
Hi this is Molly calling from the Walking Heads and we arrived this afternoon up at 14 Camp having spent the last couple of days down at 11, it’s a big party here on the mountain, a lot of guided groups moving up, more or less the same schedule, so lots of familiar faces moving up the hill with us. Everyone is still feeling healthy and having a good time. The weather has been beautiful and with some scattered clouds and snow here and there. Tomorrow we are going to have a full, long rest day, with French toast in the morning and start moving around, getting ready to move up the fixed lines shortly. We’ve had the good fortune to run into Brennan Brunner, another Alpine Ascents Guide here, who’s been giving us an update on what’s been going on with the other team higher up the mountain. Most importantly, Rob sends Heather a “happy anniversary”, thank you for 12 fabulous years, and he love you and he misses you and looks forward to seeing you. I’ll be calling back tomorrow, lots of love to our family and friends back home.

Team 13 Flies to Glacier June 26, 2005    
Hello Cyberworld, this is Eric Larson calling in for Team 13 on Denali. Folks I would like to introduce our team for this season’s last climb. We have Christina Thomson, Guy Downing, Scott Westover, Robert Griner, Kevin Sheridan, and Robert Burleigh, with Eric Larson, and Ben Billings as guides. It is Saturday the 25th, and we just finished up our gear check. Everyone is doing great, and we will be flying onto the glacier today around 3 pm. We will be in touch with a team name from our next cybercast, which will be on our move to 11,200’ camp. Thanks to everyone who is following this climb, stay tuned for more.

Censored Enlightenment Signs Off June 26, 2005    
Hello cyberworld! This is Eric Murphy for team Censored Enlightenment. We arrived back to Talkeetna yesterday AM, after a rest day at 14 camp, and an all night descent from 14 camp to the airstrip. John and Sam did great, and we have been enjoying the great food and beer here in town. Sam and John are looking forward to relaxing for a couple of days. We would all like to thank our friends, family, coworkers, teammates, and everyone who made this climb possible. Eric wishes Christie a fun and successful trip with team 13, the last of the season. Thanks for following our climb, and until next year, This is Murphy signing off. Cheers!

Team Ex Reaches High Camp June 25, 2005    
Hello there cybernauts with Team Ex…celllent. So we did our push up today, and I was able to get the phone back and just wanted to report in that we are now located at 17,143 feet above sea level at high camp and the weather looks to be beautiful. However, tomorrow we’re going to make a carry of food and fuel from down below, back up to here, so we have enough to hang out and wait for everything to be just right, when our bodies are good and acclimatized and when the weather is right then we will go for it. So right now we are just getting into bed, it’s midnight, it’s been a very long day, we were up at six and for the most part of ten hours, were climbing and then several more hours camping, setting up tents and building walls and things, so we’re tired but we’re in position. I am sad to report that Rosemary has turned her ankle and either sprained it severely and maybe even possibly fractured it and she is going down, and hopefully will be med-evaced on the helicopter right now, Brennan is staying with her down at 14,000 feet, so currently the high altitude team consists of Smiley, Spunky, JD and Jim and myself. And we’re happy to be here, ciao for now.

Boken Annainin Back-Carries to Kahiltna Pass June 25, 2005    
Hello this is Todd calling in from Team Boken Annainin. We came back, did our back-carry today, we are at just below Kahiltna Pass picking up our stuff and heading back up. It’s snowing pretty hard right now, it snowed quite a bit last night so we had some trail breaking to do, and it looks like we’ll have some trail breaking to do on our way back up, but everybody is feeling strong and we’re up for it. We’re planning on taking a rest day tomorrow, Sunday, so you probably won’t hear from us tomorrow, but the next day, Monday, when we go on up to do our carry, we’ll be able to make contact with you again. So watch for us then, bye.

Team Ex Rests After Caching at 16.2 June 24, 2005    
Hi this is Jim for Team Extreme, calling with today’s update for June 24th. After yesterday’s hard push up the 2,000 vertical feet, 50 degree headwall, Team Extreme today enjoyed a rest day at our camp at 14,143 feet in elevation. Mighty fine place to spend the day, this camp is rather cosmopolitan as it is the temporary home to dozens of international climbing teams. One team has a string of fish drying outside the tent, while another focused on ice architecture, building a cool igloo, eight feet in diameter and over four feet high. Active trading is also taking place here, food for fuel, Guinesses for food, dollars for cell phone usage. As for our team we rested in a variety of ways: reading, napping, hanging out with fellow climbers, and last but not least, taking a much needed baby wipe bath. Overall the team is fired up, we’re strong having fun and ready for tomorrow’s big push to High Camp at 17,000 feet, within striking distance of the summit. A special note to John’s niece Christina, He would like to congratulate her on her graduation and wish her a great time at her party. “Thanks to all for following along,” from the girls, “later on” from the guys.

Boken Annainin reaches Kahiltna Pass
June 24, 2005    
Hey there this is Todd calling in for Team Boken Annainin. We are at Kahiltna Pass, we’re on a night schedule now because the lower glacier is so soft and it has been so warm that we decided to climb at night when things are firmer and it’s not so hot. So that’s where we are at. And we’re hoping to push all the way on up to 11.2, the 11,200 foot camp where we will camp for the next few days. The weather has been cloudy this whole time, but warm. Our first day we had snow and today it’s still been fairly warm, so even at night things aren’t freezing up solid, so it’s kind of a different scene right now. But we’ll keep you posted on our progress, everybody is strong and doing well, so we’ll see you when we’re looking at you.

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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