Mountain Trip guide Pablo Parunjacas called in with an update on the June 24 Denali West Buttress Team, who made the decision to turn around below the fixed lines up to High Camp.
The team was plagued throughout their ascent by snowy conditions and low visibility, which makes movement on the route much harder than normal. The team was stuck at each camp for several days, waiting on weather windows. By the time they reached the steep section above Camp 3 called “The Headwall,” at almost 15,000′, the time out in the elements and the difficult nature of the day’s climb caused them to turn around.
The group is currently at camp at 14,200′, slowly making their way back to Denali Base Camp at 7,200′, where they will fly back to the relative civilization of Talkeetna, Alaska. While this situation is certainly unfortunate, many teams each year are thwarted in their attempts to summit by fatigue and bad weather.