Jacob Schmitz called in from 7,800′, following a five hour hike up the broad Kahiltna Glacier today. The team had been delayed a bit in Talkeetna, which enabled them to review skills in town. The guide team was satisfied that all the climbers were ready to hit the ground running, so they moved up glacier, rather than spend their first night in the Alaska Range camped at the airstrip.
They all did well, working hard to move their supplies northward and establish themselves at the junction of the Kahiltna and the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna. Tomorrow, they will move farther up glacier.
Glaciers are like frozen rivers, with tributary rivers and streams flowing into the main body of (frozen) water. The NE Forks is the last big tributary before the headwaters of the Kahiltna, a 10,320′ pass known as Kahiltna Pass, which separates Denali from a long ridge line of peaks that include Kahiltna Dome and the 17,500′ Mount Foraker. The Kahiltna flows 44 miles south from Kahiltna Pass, making it the longest glacier in the Alaska Range.