Visible from over 100 miles away, rising like an icy sentinel 18,000′ (5486 m) above the surrounding tundra, Denali, “The Great One” serves as a beacon for mountaineers from around the world. Our June 9 Denali West Buttress team has answered the mountain’s siren-call, and will meet in Anchorage today to begin the preparation for their expedition.
Denali’s immense vertical rise and its proximity to the Arctic Circle makes for sporadic weather conditions–it can be winter on a moment’s notice at any time of the year. It is a difficult undertaking, both mentally and physically, and is suitable only for the most fit and well-prepared climbers. Mountain Trip has been fortunate to guide climbers up various routes to the sought-after 20,310′ summit for 44 years now, and we are thrilled to welcome the climbers of our June 9, 2017 expedition to Alaska. They will be attempting Denali via the classic West Buttress route, most commonly used by climbers to reach the summit for the past century.
Let’s meet the climbers!
Arabella Slinger from London, UK.
Hanady Alhashmi, who has traveled from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Evengy Glazyrin, of New York, NY, USA.
Michael Halbig, joining us from the deserts of Dubai.
They will be joined by Mountain Trip guides Aaron Diamond (lead), Travis Baldwin, and Blake Gordon. Now that the team has assembled in Anchorage, guides will be checking out everyone’s gear to make sure that it is adequate for all of the conditions the mountain may throw at them. They will also spend part of today making careful choices from Mountain Trip’s carefully curated snack selection, packing upwards of 20 pounds of favorites to fuel them up the West Buttress Route.
Tomorrow, they will load into a Mountain Trip van and drive through the Alaskan interior mountains to the end-of-the-road village of Talkeetna, the jumping off point for the majority of expeditions into the Alaska Range. They will fly into the glacier on a sea plane with our friends at Talkeetna Air Taxi, once the weather permits.
Over 21 days on the route, the team will encounter some of the most inhospitable weather on the planet, carry the heaviest loads of gear they have likely carried in their life, go for three weeks without a shower, watch midnight sunsets, get to know their team members, and hopefully have a truly unforgettable journey in some of the most beautiful mountains in the world.
We will post updates online as they come in via satellite phone from the team on the glacier. Please remember that some days teams will be too busy to call in, too tired, or may not have a good enough connection. On these days, assume the old adage of “no news is good news.” Friends and family following along from home are also encouraged to leave comments for their loved ones on the team, although they will not be able to read them until their return.
Best of luck to the team, and welcome to Alaska!