Mountain Trip lead Guide Dan Starr called in on the behalf of the May 22 West Buttress Expedition, who has headed back down to base camp after a successful summit of Denali.
Dan apologized for not sending updates after the team reached the summit, as they had a few busy days getting everything in order and making the downhill push while weather permitted.
The group summitted on the June 6, and weather for their descent was (relatively) warm and calm throughout. They took a just couple days to descend all the way from High Camp at 17,200 ft., all the way down to Base Camp at 7,200 ft. While it takes a couple a weeks to successfully ascend Denali, the descent can be done much more quickly. Teams are much lighter in terms of supplies, they’re used to the atmosphere of the mountain and they have that extra motivation to want to get back to the warm beds and hot showers of the “real world.”
Luckily, the team was able to catch a flight out with Talkeetna Air Taxi within an hour of arriving back to Base Camp. In a span of about 48 hours, the team went from standing at the highest point in North America to sipping OJ and tucking into a hearty breakfast at the bustling Roadhouse Cafe in Talkeetna, surrounded by tourists and bus tour passengers gawking up at the massive, snowy Alaska Range far in the distance.
Dan raved about the trip’s dynamic and willingness to work hard together as a team. Luckily, too, the weather on Denali during their expedition was largely in their favor.
The team celebrated with crab legs and cold beer in Anchorage, and has since went their separate ways. Congratulations, again, to the May 22 West Buttress Expedition on a successful trip!
Here’s Dan Starr: