Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fierce Storms Continue

I talked to Gowler this morning. Yesterday the group "went for a peek" to the top of Denali Pass, 18,000'. It was too windy in the morning, even though the view from Talkeetna looked calm and peaceful. The group got up at 6 am to get the stoves going, but waited until mid-morning when the winds died down. It doesn't take much wind, 25 mph, to be too much wind in the fight against frostbite. By the time they got to the Pass,  a lenticular had formed on the summit. By the time they got back to camp, its was stacked and enveloping the mountain. They didn't get much sleep last night and woke to a continuing storm this morning. Already over-due and home calling loudly, they made the tough decision to head back down. Its uncertain whether that will be possible today, but they are making preparations. Incredible effort shown from the members of this expedition. People assume its all about the summit, all 15 minutes of it. It's a powerful experience when you spend 3 weeks of your life in such a wild, physically and mentally challenging environment. Its a sporting event, that is so much more. And it is the gift that keeps on giving because its game on until you get to the landing strip.

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