We’d like to welcome a team of Chinese climbers to Alaska! Qizhi Gan, Zhisheng Wu, Xianfeng Yang, Xingzheng Zhao, and Sun Bin will be guided by Mountain trip guides Sean McManamy and Brian Muller on an attempt of the West Buttress of North America’s highest peak. The West Buttress is a classic mountaineering challenge that climbs 13,000′ from the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier to the summit of Denali. The team will climb up the West Buttress route over the course of the next 2-3 weeks, pitting themselves against what can often be some of the most inhospitable weather and terrain on the planet. Fingers crossed, they’ll encounter windows of nice weather and will be able to make their way up to the summit of North America.
The expedition kicked off yesterday at the Alaska Millennium Hotel, where the team conducted a team meeting/equipment check. This consisted of the guides double checking that each team member brought all the necessary gear for the climb, and discussing some of the details of the trip. After a visit to the local equipment store, the rest of the day was spent resting and relaxing. Bright and early this morning the team left Anchorage and headed north 2.5 hours drive, to Talkeetna. The team participated in a mandatory climber orientation with the National Park Service, they weighed-in their equipment and supplies with our air services provider, and it looks like they will be flying to the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier momentarily.
We invite you to follow the team’s progress through posts and audio dispatches that the team will call in from the mountain. We try to post dispatches on a daily basis, but many factors can prevent that from occurring, so please be patient and remember the old adage, “No News is Good News!” Also, we encourage you to post comments, but please realize that we have no good way to pass each comment along to the team. Climbers do enjoy reading through your comments and good wishes, so please let them know you are thinking of them!
Welcome the Alaska, team!