Tuesday, May 19, 2009

South Face.

Kevin and Dan called in earlier from the South Face of Denali. They said it was windy and that they are coming down from the S. face. They are going to head 14 miles out the East Fork of the Kahiltna to 11K on Denali's West Buttress. They're going to finish up on the Buttress, acclimatizing and what not. They feel they have done a good recon of the lower face. Now they're just hoping for a little snow to cover up the crust which makes for not good ski conditions. Most folks up there are hoping for no snow.

Mike Janes and Josh Hoeschen are at the air taxi getting ready to fly into base camp.

More soon, when I hear more.

Bird's eye view of 11K. Click to enlarge. Taken while Leighan and crew were at camp.

I got a SPOT message from Leighan's crew. It came from 11K, so they are still waiting out the wind there. It can get super windy going from 11K to 14K. Hence the name Windy Corner. The move day from 11K to 14K is long and hard. This is one of the moves on the mountain in which you NEED to have good weather to pull it off.

The guides do not push the limits of the groups up there. We always like to have good margins for error so to speak. Safety is the guide's primary concern. They do not want to roll into camp exhausted in bad weather. It's more acceptable to roll into camp exhausted when the weather is perfect. Every thing is harder to do when it is cold and windy.


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