Kirsten Kremer & Elliot Gaddy are getting their group ready for ten days on the Kahiltna Glacier, mixing skills practice with an expedition to climb Kahiltna Dome, which makes a turn off of the West Buttress route. The Dome summit can be elusive, they'll evaluate avalanche danger and other conditions when they get there. There will be fresh snow and there has been persistent wind.
Here in town, a Black Bear has caused excitement, causing me to seek an alternate route on my bike going to work this morning! I hope everyone has their garbage locked up; once a bear gets a taste it comes back for more.
Here are pictures of the guides on the 6/2/09 West Buttress Expedition. Melis and Joey:
Melis called from 9,500 feet, where they were putting in a cache. She said her team is doing great. They will return to their camp at the base of Ski Hill for tonight and prepare for a snow storm and more wind. The wind is endless this year! Rarely have I seen a day when the weather forecast indicates wind less than 20 miles per hour. Snow is in the forecast and summit winds up to 55 mph in the next couple of days.
Greg Collins, with his very strong team, was able to grab that narrow window of opportunity and now are headed down fast. They were at 14 camp by last night and will probably be at Base Camp soon. Next thing you know they will be here in Talkeetna enjoying a slice of watermelon!
Seth and Possum enjoyed a bunch of climbing and will soon be back here eating watermelon!
The Wounded Warrior group, Operation Denali, is moving up! Melis said it sounds like they are doing well. She said we will probably hear directly from them later.
Vince, dunking a Clean Mountain Can.
Vince Anderson and Patricia should be making their way up the mountain. They are planning on acclimatizing on the West Buttress Route and then heading down to the bottom of Ski Hill and up the N.E. Fork of the Kahiltna to do the entire West Rib.
We'll write more later - gotta go slice that watermelon.