May 19 West Buttress Team: Keeping busy at 11-Camp

Mountain Trip lead guide Adam Smith called in for the May 19 West Buttress team, who are currently camped out at 11,200′ on Denali.

Adam and two climbers (Aparna and Linda) put in a tough dayΒ hiking back down to retrieve their cache at around 10,500′ in whiteout conditions, breaking trail through deep snow while carrying double-loads of supplies.

The other two members of the trip made the decision to turn back from the route (not due to health or injury, just personal decision), and have returned back to base camp withΒ assistant guide Ryan Gould. The climbers who descended will fly out to Talkeetna when the weather allows, and the guide who accompanied them will head back up the mountain with one of the Mountain Trip West Buttress teams that is due to arrive within the next few days.

Tomorrow, Adam, Aparna and Linda plan to trek up a nearbyΒ steep slope to get some additional practice with their “sharps,” or the mountaineering tools that will be essential on the upper mountain, including crampons and ice axes. The team is hoping to move up to 14-Camp, but will likely not choose to do so until the storm gives way to clear weather more suitable for climbing.

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, click here.

Here’s Adam with the update, with a shout out to friends and family:


  1. I am not surprised you are working double Linda!! You are doing a phenomenal and are a great example of fortitude!! (and I won’t complain anymore about the 37 degree lows we are having here. ) πŸ‘

  2. You are doing awesome Linda. Great example of perseverance! We are praying for your safety and good health. Safe hiking!
    Love ya, Rhonda

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