Climber Brad Foreman called in an update on the May 13 Denali West Buttress team at Camp One – 7,800′. The team is certainly making up time! They hit the ground running after being held up for a few days in Talkeetna after storms prevented them from flying into the range. They essentially packed up and went directly from Base Camp to Camp One — nearly six miles and a few hundred feet of elevation gain. That first trek up the glacier, weaving around crevasses, is the heaviest the climbers will be for the entire expedition, as they were carrying all of their supplies, gear and food for 21 days. Often, this day is hard for teams, as they are carrying upwards of 80 pounds in their pack and pulling around 40 in their sled; but the May 13 team is highly motivated and sounds like they are feeling strong!
Soon after arriving at Camp One, they prepared their cache to be hiked up Ski Hill to around 9,500′. The majority of the time, they have been in fairly poor weather, including blizzard conditions, blowing snow and low visibility. Their spirits certainly seem high.
Teams at upper camps report that they received anywhere between 12 and 15 inches of snow. The team will move 11,200′ Camp Two soon, weather permitting.