May 22 Team – Carries To 9,800′

Devin Gala called in on behalf of our May 22nd West Buttress team.  The climbers shouldered heavy packs and attached laden sleds this morning and hiked up the Kahiltna glacier in cold winds to place a cache of supplies at 9,800′.  Today was very cold and the wind just made things even harder.  Everyone did well and earned a hearty, warm dinner back at camp.

The team will employ an age-old strategy for climbing big mountains, which can be simplified into, “Climb High and Sleep Low.”  They carried roughly half their total supplies up above their camp, dug a deep hole in the snow, and buried their loads, before descending back to Camp 1 at 7800′ on the Kahiltna.  This enables them to more easily manage the huge loads of supplies necessary to climb Denali over the course of three weeks and it also eases their bodies into the thinner air of higher elevations, before they commit to a new height by camping there.

They will use this system of “double carrying” for the rest of their expedition.  Tomorrow, they will climb up past their “cache” at 9,800′ and continue up to their next camp, most likely in a beautiful basin at 11,200′.  They’ll grab a few items as they pass, but will then need to drop back down to retrieve the rest of their cache in a couple of days.  We call that “back carrying,” or “making a backcarry.”

Here’s Devin!

11 Comments

  1. Heman here Dev,
    You are an inspiration and I have no doubt about you staying strong. The mountain is just welcoming you with so much excitement but u stay calm and accept it’s course 🙂 we all love u very very very much. Mushqil waqt commando sakht ☺️

  2. Heman here Dev,
    You are such an inspiration to me and many around us. I have no doubt that you are trying to stay strong. The mountain is just a bit too excited to welcome you all there, but you try to show it your calm nature and accept it’s course as it delivers 🙂 We all love you so very much remember…Mushkil Waqt Commando Sakht 🙂

  3. Way to go Wheelers! Stay warm, stay safe, stay strong. Sending you better weather soon. Karin, we hope you’re enjoying the sightseeing, shopping and a nice spa at the hotel!

    The Volta’s

  4. Team Wheeler–Better to have cold weather early on during your trek. Stay well and strong.

    Mark, Ann and Yoda

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