I got a spot message from Steve Brown who is on Melis and Joey's expedition. At some point today they were at 14K according to the SPOT. That either means that they did a front carry all the way to 14K and are heading back to 11K now or that they moved to 14K and carried yesterday. Usually we do not carry all the way to 14K, but with a really strong crew that could have happened. Like I said earlier, all of the climbers in the group have their own personal Satellite phones and I don't think they are going to waste their time on calling me. I'll try to put some photos of places they have been recently for the friends of theirs who may be checking the blog. Above is a picture of some climbers travelling around Windy Corner. Only one climber in this photo even has a sled. Not everyone carries a sled above 11K. The terrain gets steeper and trickier to the point where if you do bring a sled it needs to be lightweight and very low profile, as seen in this picture.
Seth Hobby just called in a bit ago from the true summit of the Moose's Tooth. They climbed the Ham 'n' Eggs route in just over 9 hours. He said the route was in great shape, the climbing was good and Michael had a great day. Seth said it was as good a day as you could ever have in there and that there was not a breath of wind. They were going to eat and drink a little and start rapping, like the person in the above photo. This was taken last year or the year before on another of our expeditions on the Moose's Tooth. Wx permitting they are planning on flying back to Talkeetna tomorrow.
Greg Collins also called in today on the advanced Mountaineering course. They climbed Radio Tower Peak on their first day of the course and they are planning on heading out of Base Camp tomorrow toward the East fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. Radio tower peak is located just East and North of Base camp for Denali. That is a cool forst objective of this course. they would have had to do a little bit of route finding to navigate around some crevasses and a minor icefall just to get to the base of the route, then a bit of steep snow climbing and some corniced ridge climbing.
This is one of the views that they get from the top of Radio Tower Peak. These two photos were taken by Dan Corn on the April 12 day Mountaineering Course.
Mike Janes, Chris Wright and the rest of the May 3rd Denali Expedition just flew into the mountains this afternoon. They were all super stoked and ready to work hard. They all looked really fit and had really good attitudes about the whole experience. We'll keep you posted when we know more.