Welcome to the expedition dispatch blog for our 2011 Denali West Rib expedition.
Denali, or Mount McKinley, is a challenge by any standard and the vast majority of its climbers are more than happy to attempt the West Buttress route, by far the most possible and accessible of all the routes to its summit. Other climbers desire a somewhat different experience, and elect to attempt the peak by one of its other routes. Rising steeply from the southwest side of the mountain is a steep and slender ridge line that was first climbed in 1959 and carries the name of the West Rib.
Accessed from the adventurous Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, the route climbs 9,200′ (2813m) to the summit of Denali. Climbers must negotiate snow and ice up to 60 degrees and chop camps out of exposed, narrow ridges. This is a serious undertaking by any measure, but the joys of climbing such engaging terrain in one of the more stunning arenas on earth make it well worth the challenge for some climbers. On May 13, 2011, a team of three climbers and two guides will meet in Anchorage, AK to attempt the route.
Let’s meet the team!
Jim and Kathleen Soukup from New Hampshire
Jörg Spieldenner from Switzerland
Eric Larson (lead guide) from Colorado
Kelly Ryan (lead guide) from Colorado
We’ll post updates as often as possible and hope you enjoy the posts.