Mountain Trip guide Ben Adkison called in on behalf of the June 5 Denali West Buttress expedition, most of whom made their summit attempt yesterday.
Ben said that his half of the June 5 Denali team, Greg Johnson, Newall Hunter and John Ladd left High Camp and headed for the summit of Denali at around 10:00 am Alaska Time. While there were no winds or snow and the weather was calm and consistent, visibility stayed relatively low throughout their journey up from High Camp. At approximately 19,000′, around Denali Pass, John Ladd and Ben turned around for reasons unknown to us at this time. Climbers Greg and Newall continued on with the June 11 Mountain Trip Denali team, who had left High Camp at the same time and had paralleled their team throughout the day.
Greg and Newall, along with the entire June 11 team, reached the summit of Denali at just before 6:00 pm Alaska time. You can find a very excited recording of them calling to say hello to those back home from the highest point in North America
The June 11 team, led by Ian Nicholson and joined by Greg and Newall, descended successfully back to High Camp, to reunite with Ben and John.
Guide Karl Welter is still currently camped at 14,200′ with David Ladd. The team will reunite today, June 24, and descend all the way from 17,200′ to 7,200′ back to Base Camp on the broad Kahiltna Glacier where they arrived 18 days ago.
Congratulations to the team on their tremendous efforts! We wish them a speedy descent of that 10,000′ of vertical and a smooth flight out of Base Camp back to the relative civilization of Talkeetna, Alasksa. After over 2.5 weeks, their surroundings will consist of things other than snow, ice, rock, their tent and their other teammates.
Here’s Ben with the update: