Monday, June 15, 2009

Your Mission, should you choose to Accept it: Operation Denali, underway, SIR

A team at the beginning of the Audubon, with high camp in the background,

Melis called in from HIGH CAMP this morning. Her group is all in good spirits and doing well. They are going to take a rest day today. It is hard sometimes to want to take a rest day when the weather is splitter like it is right now. It is worth it though. One days rest can make all the difference in the world. Two really difficult days in a row with only 8 hours rest is tough for anyone.

Kirby and Operation Denali were roping up to head toward the summit when she called. They rested yesterday. It usually takes between 8 and 10 hours to get to the top.

They are probably on or getting close to Denali Pass now. The route up to Denali Pass is called the "Audubon". Guides used to leave high camp with 15 to 20 snow pickets clinking and clanking as the first guide would go out and place at least one picket per rope length. There is always lots of climbers yelling "STOP" and "GO" as they clip their rope through the pickets. Now the National Park Service "fixes" the route up to the pass. That means that the pickets are already in place. Now we just need a handful of pickets to place for when the route changes a little bit and strays away from the protection.

Vince and Pat are probably on the lower portion of the West Rib.

R

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