Rich Morgan called in on behalf of the 65 Degrees North Denali team and despite the dropped satellite connection – all is well! Generally, they get decent satellite reception from Camp 1, from where they called in last night; however, that was not the case with this call.
The team carried loads up a long hill on the Kahiltna Glacier known as “Ski Hill.” They continued north to a spot just below Kahiltna Pass, a low point between Denali and the long, westernmost ridgeline of the Alaska Range that includes the peaks Kahiltna Dome and Mount Foraker. They dug a deep pit in the snow and buried their supplies to (hopefully!) prevent marauding ravens from digging into their kit and stealing food.
After carefully marking the location of their cache of equipment and supplies, they descended back to Camp 1 for the night. This process is often referred to as, “climbing high and sleeping low.” It enables the climbers to ferry the large quantity of food, fuel and supplies necessary for a 3-week expedition further up the mountain and it helps ease them into higher elevations, by giving their bodies a bit of acclimatization before they commit to a higher camp.
Today, they will repeat the uphill segment of yesterday’s “carry,” and then continue up another 300m to place camp in a beautiful basin at about 11,200′ (3114m). That basin is the most difficult from which to call on a satellite phone, due to it’s lack of exposure to the south (satellites orbit pretty far south of Denali). They will try to call and fingers are crossed that we’ll hear more from them this evening.