Saturday, May 7, 2011
4/25 West Buttress, Pat Ormond (Pormond)
Pat called in from their camp at 14,200' this evening. The winds were strong all night and didn't really let up until early afternoon. Probably looked a lot like this photo here. This picture was taken from that camp at 14K looking toward the summit.
When I talked to him tonight the winds were totally calm and he was thinking they'd get a chance to move up tomorrow. They still have a ton of time. They are just getting stronger and well rested each day. They got up this morning and ate a big breakfast, reinforced their wind walls, did some other camp chores and napped all afternoon.
Here is a Brian Okonek Photo, Here is a good example of wind walls. With the winds that we frequently get on Denali, it is necessary to fortify camps with walls like these. With 'bomb proof ' walls, storms aren't too bad. I think every single climber I have ever been on Denali with has hoped (secretly or verbally) to experience a real Denali storm in a nice fortified camp. Gotta love nature and all that comes with it, it's all part of being in the mountains.
The winds were sustained 30 mph last night with gusts to 40-50 mph. It's nice to get some bad weather lower down on the mountain so everyone knows exactly what to expect and what to do up high.