Nate and Joey's expedition in fron of the Otter preflight, round 1.
Nate and Joey's crew tried to get into the Range last night. They made it all the way into base camp but couldn't land due to poor visibility. All of the planes flying in and out of the Range can only do so via VFR (visual flight regulations). They made it all the way in there but there was a cloud or a bank of fog lingering on the runway. They circled in the area for quite some time hoping that they runway would clear up. It didn't, so they had to come back to Talkeetna. This is fairly normal stuff we deal with in climbing in the Alaska Range. On one of my Denali trips, years ago, my expedition was stuck in Talkeetna for 6 days waiting to get into base camp. I think we had 7 false launches.
They all got into base camp this morning. I'm not sure what the temps are in there right now, or the current weather. Usually, this time of year we end up needing to travel on the lower mountain during the night to take advantage of the colder temperatures. Sometimes though, if it is cold enough and it is cloud covered, a group may be able to get away with a daytime move this time of year. So they are either on their way to 7,800 ' camp at the bas e of Ski Hill or they are hanging out in base camp getting some necessary classes out of the way before they travel to ski hill. Regardless, weather permitting, they will be getting to the base of Ski Hill soon enough.
This photo was taken of Pat's crew up at 14 camp within the last day or two looking South West at the Sultana Ridge of Mt. Foraker. You can see their "Posh House" (kitchen tent) in the background. These kitchen tents are used up to and a 14. They are a cool place to get out of the sun during the day and to convene for breakfast and dinners. We teach a lot of classes under the kitchen tents, such as: cold injury prevention, altitude illness awareness and discuss the next day's activities etc.
I haven't heard from anyone up on the mountain today. I'm guessing that it is another wx day, but you never know. It's cloudy in town, so I can't see what going on in there and I don't put ANY faith in the wx forecasts. Scratch that! At least the part about not hearing from anyone. I still mean what I said about the wx forecasts. But I just heard from Melis. They have received about 18" of new snow with a fair bit of winds as well. Some of the crew went for a little hike 1/4 of the way out Denali pass for a little exercise and to check out current snow conditions. Today was another weather day where no one was able to head toward the summit. Many of the other groups have abandoned high camp due to wx forecasts. Her crew is psyched to wait it out. To base decisions on a weather report, that is wrong about 80% of the time, is crazy to me. Way to go!!