Lead guide Eli Potter called from Denali Base Camp at 7,200′ (2200 m) on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. The team had planned to fly yesterday, the 30th of April, but the weather in the sleepy little town of Talkeetna was such that the team had to spend a night awaiting clear skies. They flew on the morning of the 1st and spent much of the day reviewing skills that they will need to employ as they make their way up the next 13,000′ (3962 m) to reach the top of North America.
The plan is to load up all their supplies and head about five miles (8 km) up the main body of the Kahiltna to the site of Camp 1, at an elevation of about 7800′ (2377 m). Glaciers are like frozen rivers, with smaller, tributary glaciers that feed into the main body like streams or creeks feed into a river. The Kahiltna is a huge glacier which runs almost 40 miles from it’s start at a low point in the Alaksa Range between Denali and a long ridge that culminates with the 17,500′ (5300 m) Mount Foraker, located just south and west of Base Camp. There are three main tributaries that feed into it, which the team will pass: the Southeast Fork, which they will actually descend to meet the main glacier, the East Fork, and the Northeast Fork. The team will camp at the juncture of the Northeast Fork and the Kahiltna tonight.
Here is Eli!