Sunday, May 25, 2008
Sunday, May 25th
14K camp from the bottom of the fixed lines.
Melis said he wind has slowed way down today. One of the NPS rangers said the winds were blowing about 10 mph this morning. The 16 ridge looked fairly windy still, so they took a walk up to the base of the fixed lines to get some exercise and acclimatization. Many of the guided groups that had been up there at 14K waiting to head up to high camp headed back down the mountain this morning as soon as the weather broke. These guys are hoping to move up to high camp in the next day or so, as soon as it's good enough weather to do so.
Team Tork left 14K this morning around 9:30 AM for base camp. Tom put an order in with me while I was in Anchorage yesterday for 10+ pounds of beef and some nice bottles of Argentinian wine for their end of expedition "asado". Planes have been getting in and out of the range today. They will most likely be out tomorrow if it's flyable.
Seth, Leighan and the Summit for Someone guys made it into the range this early afternoon. They were delayed by one day in Talkeetna due to un-flyable weather. They went in to the South East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. This is also the starting point for Denali, Hunter and Mt. Foraker. These types of trips never really know where they are going until they are just about ready to take off. They had maps for 3 or 4 different course locations. Sometimes they do not know where they are going until they are up in the air and the pilot says where he or she is able to land. Something as simple a thing as a fog bank in a valley or landing strip can make an area un-landable.
This is a photo of the South Face of Mt. Francis. One possible route, conditions dependent, is the left hand sky line, the SW Ridge. Another possible line of ascent is the right hand sky line, East Ridge. The SW ridge is more difficult and the east ridge is a fair bit easier. There are two guides out with the 3 SFS climbers so they can accommodate the different experience levels in this group.
During the day in town of bad weather, the SFS climbers, along with the guides took care of some necessary curriculum to travel safely on the glacier. They worked into the evening last night in the AMS climbing gym until Talkeetna Air Taxi called it for the night.
Tork made it to base camp tonight and should be flying out in the morning on the 26th.