May 24 West Buttress Expedition — Headed to the glacier

We have just gotten word that the Mountain Trip May 24 West Buttress Team has loaded up all of their gear onto a Talkeetna Air Taxi plane, and is patiently awaiting the weather call before they fly in to Denali Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier. From their they will begin their ascent of the tallest mountain in North America: Denali.

At 20,310 feet (6190 m), it rises a full 18,000 feet 5486 m) above its surrounding landscape.  It has the highest vertical rise of any planet on earth, and due to its location so close to the Arctic Circle, it can essentially make its own weather, and typically not the hot and sunny kind of weather!

Denali means “The Great One” in the language of the local indigenous people and it qualifies on all levels.  It is a difficult undertaking and suitable only for the most fit and well prepared climbers.

We are excited to welcome Brian Dagg all the way from the southern hemisphere, namely Queenstown, New Zealand, to the big, cold and otherworldly beautiful mountains of south-central Alaska!

The lead Mountain Trip guide for this small team will be Yoshiko Miyazaki-Back, who has guided many trips on Denali and around the world. She will be assisted by Mountain Trip guide Chris Pruden.

A few days ago, the team made the drive north from Anchorage, winding through several mountain ranges to the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska, the launching point for most Denali expeditions. They have already attended their mandatory orientation provided by the National Park Service, and are ready for their short, scenic flight into the heart of the rugged Alaska Range. We wish them the best of luck in reaching the highest point in North America (and good weather that will allow them to fly in today).

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