Dave Helland called in after the team carried loads around Windy Corner on what was, by other accounts, a windless day. It’s been hot and the team has been moving well, trying to capitalize on the cooler early mornings.
Today started out with a thousand foot climb up Motorcycle Hill. The climbers have now donned crampons, and this day feels more like climbing and less like the approach. They continued another 1300′ above Motorcycle Hill, passing a steep ridge that drops down from the West Buttress. This ridge seems to often funnel winds that scour the immense South Face and has earned it’s place in Denali lore as, “Windy Corner.” But… not today!
After burying their cache of supplies at about 13,500′, they dropped back down to 11,200′ for the night. They are climbing high and sleeping low in an effort to acclimatize to the thinner air of the upper mountain. After they build up a base level of acclimatization, they will drop down to the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier and try to quickly climb the West Rib in what climber call, “alpine style.”
Here’s Dave –