Friday, June 8, 2007
Heading down around windy corner
I've got a few updates for everyone.
The weather has gotten a little bit better up on the upper mountain. It is still fairly windy up there but they're calling for another increase in wind speed by this afternoon. Who knows how accurate that weather forecast will be. I never listened to the wx reports when I was up there 'cause they are wrong so often.
Jared and Chris's crew has had enough. They have been stuck at 14 for 10 days now I think. Today was their "up or down" day. They are pretty much out of time and are heading down. Jared and Chris are going up the fixed lines to the 16 ridge to retrieve their cache of gear up there. They will most likely depart from 14 this afternoon and time it so that they are on the lower glacier during the coldest part of the night. It was a tough decision they had to make this morning whether to go up or to go down. They felt that with the weather conditions they have today and the conditions they feel they are going to have later today and tomorrow and the lack of time they have left, they would head down.
Greg's crew on the other hand has more days left than Jared's team. They also are moving VERY quickly and Greg feels that they can safely make it up to High Camp. Greg's original expedition was slated for the upper rib of Denali, but they are going for the slightly less difficult West Buttress option hoping to increase their chances of summitting.
Tom Torkelson's team is at 11K camp and have been experiencing a little bit of what Denali can dish out on the mid mountain. While usually not as severe as the upper mountain, it can get pretty tough there. Sometimes more snow falls at that elevation and while you might not have the 100 mph winds you might have 50+ mph with more snow falling which is why we say Denali is a blue coller mountain, 'cause of all the digging and wall building needed to fortify camps, etc.
I have not heard from Tom today, so I do not know if he is moving up today to 14 or not. I do know that he has a cache in at the corner and is poised to move up as soon as they get the chance.
We have 3 other expeditions lower down on the mountain that are not in cell phone range yet, no updates yet on them.