After a day of resting in Anchorage, i’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my last trip up the West Buttress on Denali. I feel very fortunate to have spent the last few weeks in one of my favorite places with a fun and strong team. We tried hard and pushed through some less than ideal weather. Trying to move up the mountain we were stoped by high winds and low visibility. With a lesser team I would have stayed in camp and waited for better weather. This team of four strong gentlemen men from the Netherlands was motivated, experienced and willing to “stick their nose” in the weather to see if it was possible to move higher on the mountain.
Unfortunately out of nineteen days on the mountain we only got three days of good weather. That’s how it goes sometimes. You have to have patience and lissen to the mountain.
We had a lot of good times on this expedition. Especially when we got the Ajax football (soccer) scores and celebrated the Amsterdam team wining the Dutch championship. Or climbing on the ridge to cache equipment for our move to high camp and being rewarded with some of the best views of the trip.
Like I alway say, the summit is not guaranteed. If it was, it wouldn’t be a sport..Yet the mountains are a beautiful place to explore and cherish while pushing your physical and mental limits with friends. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
I’m looking forward to going back into the mountains soon. And wish my team safe travels back home to their loved ones.
–Jacob Schmitz, Mountain Trip Lead Guide