Four of our Mountain Trip teams are currently camped at 14,200′ on Denali. Both the West Rib Expedition and the May 11 West Buttress team have spent 14 days now at 14-Camp, tied for the longest time at one camp that any of us can recall in recent Mountain Trip history.
This season has shown some of the coldest weather that we have seen in the past couple of decades on the mountain. While weather is significantly better today than in days past, high winds are still preventing teams from readily making the decision to move higher to more technical and committing sections of the route.
Most of our teams are on “stand by” today, with most of their gear packed, ready to head out and start climbing up to High Camp on a moment’s notice.
For scale reference, the plumes of snow blowing off the mountain, though they may not look like much in the photos, are about a quarter mile in length.The high temperature at 14-Camp today (May 30) is only expected to reach 10 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chill making it feel significantly colder. At High Camp, it is only expected to be as warm as -8 degrees Fahrenheit (before windchill). High winds combined with such low temperatures make it dangerous to move up higher onto the mountain, where it is colder, less protected and winds are much worse.
For the rest of the week, a high pressure system is expected to take precedence between tomorrow and Friday.
To track the weather outlook on Denali, click here.