Saturday, June 13, 2009

One step closer

Okonek photo of some climbers building camp at 17. Sometimes you get to move into an already built camp up there and sometimes you don't. At the very least, you always have to fortify camp a bit. This is the one camp that I prefer to move into an already existing camp. Other camps on the mountain, I like fresh real estate.

Operation Denali is at HIGHCAMP! I'm not sure what the weather is like up there. I talked to Joey, Melis's assistant (and Husband) a bit ago and it was a ping pong ball at 14K. If you're not sure what that means, just envision what it would look like if you were stuck inside of a ping pong ball.

Melis and Joey's group are doing well and excited to move up tomorrow, weather depending. Johann says to Nikki and Hank that all is well and cold up here and for you to enjoy Greece. Joey says hello to his Mother.

I haven't heard from Kirby yet. They just rolled in within the hour. They are probably busy melting snow for water right now. I don't think that it is windy for them, which is very nice. He's been good about calling in, so I may hear from him soon. They are cranking, that's for sure. To be at high camp on schedule is extremely lucky! Weather usually shuts you down for at least a little while.

I was talking to some of the climbers who just came off the mountain on one of our trips that went 25 days. They had bad weather at every camp. Spent 12 days at 14K and said they were glad that they got to experience Denali like that. Joey said they have been in the clouds most of the day so they were unable to see if Nate's crew was climbing today.

11 camp is in the middle lower left of this photo in the flats to the right of the lone dark rocks. The trianglular rock buttress is the West Buttress proper and where it's right hand ridge comes down to the glacier is windy corner. Phil's crew is planning on heading arouond to the other side of Windy Corner tomorrow to make their cache. From their cache site 14 is only about another 30-40 minutes this year.

Phil Ershler is doing well. Phil is leading the IMG/AMS expedition. They have all of their stuff with them right now at 11 and will carry half of it to 13,5 tomorrow. I told them that we have some fuel up at the next camp waiting for them, so maybe they will be able to head up a little lighter. I can't remember exactly but I seem to remember when Phil guided Denali last season it was his 25th Denali summit.

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