Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A quick Denali update (more coming soon!)

Just wanted to post a quick blog entry summarizing my Denali expedition. All of my Denali blog entries were accidentally deleted and so I have to rewrite all 30 of them from scratch...not a very appealing prospect.

Anyway, as you know if you've been following my Twitter, I did not summit Denali this July. I was on a Mountain Trip expedition and we spent five days at High Camp waiting for the weather to get better so that we could summit. All we needed was 15 hours. We didn't get it. (The biggest issues were wind and snow.) Then we went down to 14k camp (the second highest camp) and I joined another Mountain Trip team that still had 10 days on the mountain. We managed to put in a high cache at 16,200ft in a white out storm that ended up dumping over a meter of new snow on the Headwall (a very steep, 2000ft ascent between the 14k and 17k camps) but then waited another six days for the avalanche risk on that wall to decrease. It never did.

Me at 14k camp after over three weeks on the mountain, with Mt. Hunter behind.
Part of mountain climbing is dealing with weather and the effects it can have on your itinerary and on your entire expedition. Denali was definitely a learning experience in this respect. All things considered, though, I am actually incredibly excited by the prospect of returning to this great mountain next June and July. I had a fantastic experience this past month that I spent on the mountain, and I would strongly recommend Mountain Trip to anyone who is interested in climbing Denali or any other North American peak.

Up next is Kosciosko--the hill in Australia that some people consider to be one of the Seven Summits--and Carstensz Pyramid, in the remote and exotic jungles of  Iryan Jaya--the other mountain that people consider to be Oceania's Seventh Summit. I start this journey on August 1st. Until then, you can look forward to reading a more detailed account of my Denali journey and checking out more beautiful pictures from the mountain. 

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