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Summit pic on Denali

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MikeW:
Hi Guys!

I've just summited Denali on June 13, 2009 for my number 6 of 7. I have only Everest left to complete my 7 summits. I've done the West Buttress route unguided with 3 friends from Quebec and summited on the 11th day of the expedition, 14 total from Talkeetna to Talkeetna. We had good weather and a beautiful summit day as well.

MikeW

7summits:
Hey Mike!

congratulations on #6! Well done. How was the climb and route? Any additions to my Denali guide?

And of course: when is #7 planned  8)

Cheers, Harry
(I took the liberty to edit your message, so the picture would show up)

m.c. reinhardt:
Hey Mike!!! Whoo hoo! Big time congrats. Summiting on the 11th day? Nice! Sounds like a great climb; you were lucky with the weather. Beautiful summit shot. Well done!!!!!

MC :)

MikeW:
Thanks Harry for editing the message so the pic could show up.

It was a dry season on Denali this year. The ridge between 16200 and high camp was mostly on rocks making it more difficult. When I was coming down the mountain, it was so warm that I sank up to my knee with snowshoes on, on the lower glacier and we were only the 15 of June. The weather gods were with us during most of the trip. On summit day, we expected strong winds (30 to 40 mph), but in the morning there was nothing. The wind started on the way down to high camp on the football field. That"s why I have only a Goretex jacket on at the summit.

Beautiful mountain but definitely the toughest to climb of the 6 with 5 camps, 21 days of food and fuel to carry and the distance between the camps.

MikeW

MoT:
Hey Mike, congratulations! Sounds like a great trip.

We went for the summit on May 18th because a weather front was rapidly moving in. My partner summitted in 45 mph winds, I was forced to turn early in the day due to exhaustion. The weather then remained horrible until our day that we had to go down (typical). We had flights to catch so couldn't wait around. 10 mph on the summit the day we got back to the airfield.

Gerald Myers died in similar conditions on the 19th May. My partner has been to Camp 4 on K2 and said that the summit ridge in high winds alone and unroped was a far scarier prospect than all his time up to 8000m high camp on K2.  :o

Tom

ps Harry, if you're looking for additions to your guide, I'll have a look through my diary and see if I have any thoughts! One possible idea would be regarding campsite choice at Kahiltna Pass camp - if you can see the pass from your campsite you're probably in a bad spot. Better to be in one of the minor dips in the glacier - ever so SLIGHTLY better shellter. We got there in a storm and couldn't see the pass so didn't know.

Er - also to remember to get out early if you want to get up the headwall ahead of the commercial groups. We were unguided but still took 3 hours to get up the ropes because we got stuck in a bottleneck behind 25 climbers (who incidentally were all WAY TOO CLOSE TOGETHER on the fixed ropes) and got dehydrated and exhausted on the day before our summit push as a result. It's shocking how bad some of the climbers are on that mountain - some couldn't mount the TINY bergschrund at the base of the fixed ropes. It's amazing the people who are allowed onto that mountain. And as for the guides who let their clients climb dangerously on the ropes... well that's a rant for another day! I have a pic somewhere - we brought it to the rangers just to show them once we got down.

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