Sunday, June 30, 2013

AC Denali Post 10: Safe at Camp Three

This is Judy (Anders' mom) taking over from Randy for this post.  I was very happy to just receive a call from Anders from 11,000 feet.  After about a four hour climb, once again starting in the wee hours this morning, the team had set up camp at Camp Three.  He said he is "doing really well" and enjoying every day.  We had missed his call yesterday, which is surprising given I've carried my cell phone just about everywhere since Anders has been in Alaska.  When he finally gets to read this, Anders will get a kick out of knowing that the reason we missed his call was his dad and I were playing corn hole toss against two of Kara's friends.  (we won, by the way)
So, Anders said both yesterday and today were tough days, hauling those heavy sleds and carrying fully-loaded packs up steep terrain.  Today was the last day they had to carry everything at once.  Tomorrow they will take some of their gear, climb up, and cache it around 13,000 feet, then descend back to sleep at Camp Three.  Then the next day haul the rest up.  This is the part of the trip where they go up a ways, go back down, go up again -- all to help acclimate and to help transport the gear in very steep terrain where pulling sleds isn't always feasible.
Anders sounds great and is really enjoying his fellow climbers and the guides, said everyone was really cool and getting along well.
For those of you interested in the "human side" of the story, here's how he described his 6 fellow climbers:
The youngest, Max, is 18 and is Anders tent mate.
An "older guy" (59), who had tried summiting once before with Dave Hahn and they weren't able to summit, and is now back for his second attempt.
A 30-something guy from Chicago, with a goal of climbing the 7 summits, who already has climbed Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, and Aconcagua
A 40-something very outdoorsy journalist from Men's Journal
A early 40's guy from San Francisco
And a young 30'ish Australian dude who just decided to sign up for this climb 2 weeks ago!

There are 4 RMI guides.  2 of them have summited Denali (many times) and 2 have a lot of mountaineering experience, but haven't yet summited this particular mountain.   RMI is a 40+ year, very highly regarded mountain guide service, so we feel like Anders and his fellow climbers are in good hands.

The satellite reception was sketchy, and we were disconnected about 6 times during our call, but hoping to hear from Anders again tomorrow!

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