Mountain Trip lead guide Nick Aiello called in from 14,200′ on the West Buttress after the team made their descent from High Camp, forced to turn back by the weather. Unfortunately, their weather window slammed shut, and after a day in extremely high winds at camp, they made the difficult decision to descend. The team then battled the winds on the ridge and fixed lines downhill to 14-Camp.
They will likely plan their descent over the next few days if the weather continues to worsen. Ultimately, it is often the will of the mountain–and not the will of the climbers–that determines whether or not a team will make it up to 20,310′. Not one hopes to climb Denali because it is easy.
Reaching the top of the High One does not come easy, and even spending several weeks traveling on glaciated terrain with tremendous loads of gear, and braving the elements from sweltering heat, to blowing snow, to frigid cold.
The weather is forecasted to grow even worse at high elevations on the mountain.