May 15 Denali West Buttress Team retrieves cache at 13,500′

Mountain Trip climber Eric Greene called in with an evening update on the May 15 Denali West Buttress Expedition, who, along with three other Mountain Trip teams, are holding strong at 14-Camp and doing their best to stay busy and stay out of the cold.

High winds and blowing snow, brought in by the southwest storm flow that typically hits the Alaska Range hard, have persisted on the mountain for the past five days. This has prevented teams from moving higher on the mountain, as the fixed lines and exposure on the route above 14,000′ demand good conditions and visibility. The Alaska Range knows no seasons, and snow storms with all of the fury of winter can arrive at any time of the year. Over a foot of snow has fallen since the start of the storm, and it’s likely that the wind has blown in ten times that amount.

To stave off the cold and get their legs moving, the team hiked down to 13,500′ to retrieve their cached gear, including extra food and supplies, and hiked it all back up to their camp. Once back in camp, they reinforced their latrine, and the snow walls that they’ve constructed to keep out the wind.

While it appears the snow will taper off by this Saturday, the winds are forecasted to steadily increase. To watch the weather on the mountain, <a href=”http://www.weather.gov/afg/denaliclimbing_forecast”>click here.</a>

Here’s Eric:

3 Comments

  1. Eric and crew,
    Sometimes waiting is the name of the game. Wait out the snow, wait out the wind…still hoping you make the summit and stake a claim to the mountain for yourselves. Hang in there…..

  2. Eric thanks for your report–yes we will pray for good weather and good health for you and all the team. God be with your team to grant patience and calm ’til it’s good and safe to climb again. Praying Lord-willing you will summit the mountain and behold the beauty of Denali! Give our love to my brother!

    Praying,
    Steve and Susan

  3. Eric and others, I greet you in the name of Jesus the Christ Lord of the angels and the one most able to present you good weather and a summit experience. It is such a blessing to have heard your voice and I pray that God himself in Christ Jesus will lift you all safely and joyfully to the summit and back down to health and happiness. May Jesus sustain undergird encourage and protect you.

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