Thursday, May 7, 2009

14K

Pat Ormond pictured to the left.
And the next photo is the bathroom at 14K with the headwall in the background.

Pat called in from 14K with a few updates. They are doing well and the boys he's tagging along with, the "F" team, were busy digging the 14K bathroom hole. There are usually 2 bathroom holes at 14. One of them is an actual sit down unit and the other one is a hole in a piece of plywood. They both have 3 sides for a bit of privacy. The holes are dug about 15-20 feet deep. You get one person down in the hole and they dig and fill up 5 gallon buckets and the people on the surface (AKA the peanut gallery) empties the buckets and sends them down empty. And they do this hour after hour after hour after hour until they have a hole deep enough to house enough crap for most of the season.

Anyway that's what they are doing today. It's super nice out right now with virtually no wind in camp and just a bit up on the 16 ridge above camp. The weather report is saying there is a high building to the West of the mountain. Weather reports, in our opinion, are just short of useless up there. It has been dropping to 15-20 degrees below zero every night. When they left 11K, it was -4 degrees. The "F" team is going to carry to the 16 ridge tomorrow. There are a few different places that groups like to cache at. Most folks cache right at the top of the fixed line, 16,200', other groups that have the time go a little further to 16,400'. Some grouops even go as far as just below "Washburn's Thumb". It doesn't really matter where the cache gets left, so long as it is buried deep enough and marked properly. This cache day is a great acclimatization day.
I talked to Pat at about 3:30 AK time and they were watching Melis and her crew on the fixed lines heading up to make their cache at the top of the fixed lines. Pat said there was several other groups moving up or making a carry today that were in front of Melis's group. The fixed lines can be a major bottle necking spot on the mountain. Sounds like Melis did not want to deal with other parties cramping her style. And believe me, some of the "other" parties up there are highly capable of cramping our style. Melis actually just called a few minutes ago 6:00 pm from the top of the fixed lines saying that they are all doing great, feeling good and have made their cache. They'll probably hang out up there for a bit and breeath in some thin air and head back down in a bit, eat a later dinner and sleep in tomorrow. Her and Greg will most likely be making pancakes all morning, only after everyone get up at their leisure. Rest days are SWEET! You don't have top get out of your tent until the heat of the
sun forces you out.

Picture below is a climber at the bottom of the fixed lines.

Rumor has it that Joey, Matt and the Kahiltna dome crew as well as Mark, Larry and the 5/5 West Buttress group moved to the bottom of ski hill. There is no cell reception until 2,000 feet higher. Last picture is camp at the bottom if Ski Hill with the N.E. Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier in the back ground.The Cassin Ridge forming the right hand sky line of Denali and the ridge just before the Cassin is the West Rib.

Thats all for now.

rob

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