Our guide Kyle Bates called in from 7,800′ on the Kahiltna Glacier. The team had a great day of traveling up the vast body of ice as they started their ascent up Denali.
The weather has been HOT, with intense sunshine during the day. Lead Guide Joe Butler reported in a phone call this afternoon that, “If you want to do it right you have to be on the night schedule. It is like 70 degrees today and there are lots of people blowing it!” The last bit is a reference to his observation of many teams traveling during the heat of the day.
It is hard to imagine yourself being on an immense river of ice that is thousands of feet thick, yet you have to hide from the sun. It is even harder to actually hid from the sun, as it’s beams radiate and bounce around from all directions. There are a number of tricks that can be employed, such as using lightweight shirts with an attached hood, known as “sun hoodies.” These are becoming increasingly popular among our guides and we recommend them as an optional item on our equipment list. That might change, and we might start requiring climbers to bring them, as it sure does seem like we are encountering warmer temperatures on the lower glacier in recent years.
Here is Kyle!