Ben here with a final dispatch for the trip:
As you all know by know the team is off the mountain and either back in Anchorage or on a plane right now on their way home.
Karl and I have cleaned and put away all the equipment from the expedition and are psyched to have completed a successful expedition with a great crew of climbers.
We hiked through the night to make our descent to Base Camp the other day in time for a morning flight back to Talkeetna. As we left camp at 14,200 feet the sun was just setting behind a bank of clouds that left us with perfect evening light around Windy Corner down to 11,200 feet. We filled up our water bottles with a pot of water left by another Mountain Trip team and dug up our cache and continued to Base Camp.
We practically crawled into Base Camp at 7:45am after a full night of walking (to ensure colder and safer travel over crevasses on the lower Kahiltna Glacier) and took off our packs for the last time. The weather cleared and our team was able to fly back to Talkeetna on two separate planes.
I know Karl and I would be psyched to join Dave and John on some other mountaineering or skiing adventures in Telluride this winter or Greg on Cho Oyu in a few years. But as for Newall, after being the 14th person on earth to finish the Explorer’s Grand Slam (climbing the seven summits as well as venturing to the North and South Poles), who really knows what the next extreme adventure is. Todays rumor is that he has a number of news media personal waiting for him when he lands back in the UK.
Thanks again for following our expedition and thanks to John, Dave, Newall and Greg for a great Denali Expedition.