Hello everybody following Denali and I on Mount McKinley,
Denali in Alaska.
It's about 3-4 days since we last talked. During those
days we had a couple more storm days and then we pushed hard from our
Camp I up to Camp II at 11,200 ft. And then we pushed our heavy load up
to Camp III, which is 14,200 ft, roughly about 4,300 m.
Heavy loads going up. We did really well (...) and then
we skinned the last little bit up to 14,200 ft and it was just a cracker
day. It was windy around Windy Corner (...) notorious for its winds...
(rest of message inaudible)
Hello everybody, it's Marty and Denali on... Denali, or Mount McKinley in
Sent a dispatch a couple of days ago from Anchorage. We made it to Talkeetna
just fine and went through all the permits and finished the organizing.
We ended up flying in on the 18th and it was a night to remember, it was
beautiful, close to 24 hour sunlight. So we packed up one of our carries and
skied all the way up to our Camp I and arrived back at our Base Camp at around
1 o'clock in the morning, not needing headlamps. Just magical as a first
experience for the season. Denali loved it.
The next day we got up at a decent time, had a good breakfast and packed up
the final gear and skied to our Camp I. Everything looked fine... then woke up
early this morning to a major storm and we've been pinned down ever since. So
we're probably going to be here for 24 hours and hopefully it'll clear and we
can push up to our Camp II and mosey on up to high Base Camp.
That's our game plan right now. We're just sitting around acclimatising,
eating, drinking and playing cards and waiting for the weather to clear. We
will be in contact with you as soon as we make more progress on the hill.
We're doing fine, getting used to this beautiful mountain range. It's very
special to be up here with Denali, we're thinking of everybody at home,
Giannina and everybody... it's magical to be here.
We don't have any cell coverage so we can only do sat phone right now. So
we'll be in touch every 2-3 days. Cheers
Hello and greetings from Alaska. It has been a few months since the Aconcagua,
Argentina climbing days went well. Giannina and I survived the earthquake in
Christchurch, helped others where we could and fixed up the home after some
damage. We have been busy exploring and living north of Auckland; Giannina
having started her Ayurvedic study of medicine, giving back to the world in so
many positive ways. We have never spent much time in the north of Auckland
before and it feels good to get the feeling of this land and the people.
Since the beginning of May, I have been busy training and preparing for a
climb/ski descent of Mt Shasta in Northern California and for Mt. Denali in
Alaska, the highest mountain in North America, sitting at 20,320 feet / 6,196
meters. An old buddy of mine since childhood, Eddie Caldwell, a great person
to explore this earth with, and I decided to ski tour the West face of Shasta.
All went well with the skinning and climbing until the last 100 feet or so
where we were caught in white out conditions. A lenticular coming down upon us
with force, we had to make a quick decision to turn while we could. We had a
beautiful 6,000 foot ski down to Bunny Flat with about 2,000 feet of perfect
corn snow. It was a great mini expedition for us both. Next up is this
wonderful expedition with my son Denali, 23 years of age, heading towards his
name sake, Denali. It has been several years since I was on it, being called
to the Himalaya and other mountains for the past 8 years. Now being back in
Alaska is very special with my son, visiting good friends and training on the
rock and running trails of the past. Anchorage is so beautiful and active, has
been and will be forever more. For Denali to
see this land and it's people for the first time will move him in ways never
felt before. He just saw his first moose in the wild. The midnight sun is
creeping upon us more and more with each second, approaching the climax on the
20th of June, the summer solstice and having close to 24 hours of light to
climb and ski in. No headlamps needed on Denali.
Our plan is to have our 26 days of food, fuel and gear with us on the Kahiltna,
heading off to the West Buttress to 14,200 feet to acclimatize. From here we
will look at the upper West Rib, checking out the snow conditions and a ski
descent... it is all about the snow conditions and weather to make these
experiences happen. From there a few other options will be revealed for us
always making sure to have safety under our feet and skis.
Thanks to Gavin, Daan and the Macpac gang for their support and enthusiasm
towards making the best gear on this earth. I just received yesterday the
special single wall two person tent that needs to be tested on the slopes of
Denali. We'll also put to test the new 3 person Plateau tent. Denali is the
intense mountain that will put all gear on the edge. Looking forward to these
Unfortunately Denali has already had a few deaths, I say this in my dispatch
to confirm that the world news has already spoken about this. What we can let
you know now is that we are aware of this, can only send out our condolences
to the families, be fully prepared for our routes to climb and ski and know
when to move, sit or turn around. We will be in touch with our Sat Phone
through Daan and Macpac with our dispatches. Try to send them in every 2-3
days so that you can be apart of our climb. Looking forward to flying into the
Kahiltna Glacier in the next few days. All the best and we'll be in touch.
Marty and Denali
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