Friday, June 28, 2013

AC Denali Post 6: Safe and Sound at Camp One!


We talked to Anders around 4pm this afternoon our time and around noon his time.  He and his team had just finished the arduous climb up from Base Camp to Camp One at 7800 feet.  Here are the details:

Yesterday, they flew out from Talkeetna to the lower parts of the SE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.  They were on the ice around 10 a.m. or so and spent the day building their camp, preparing their equipment, and practicing all of the skills so critical to surving the hostile enviornment that they will be living in over the next 2+ weeks.  Anders said that they went down around 9 p.m. but he had a great deal of difficulty getting any real sleep (editiorial comment--neither of us could sleep on our first night on the Aconcagua's not a big deal in the grander sense but still a pain in the butt for sure!)

They "awoke" at 1:30 a.m. local and were rolling around 3:30 a.m.  Anders said it was one of the hardest physical days that he has had to endure.  He estimated his total equipment weight at 130 pounds--probably 60 on his back and 70 on the sled.  He said it was VERY, VERY difficult and we could certainly hear it in his voice.   He was very positive but clearly whipped from a hard day in the office.

The route was heavily crevassed--and for the most part very obviously so.  This lead to relatively safe travel but certainly a longer trek than a month ago.  That said, Anders did at one point fall into a crevasse and penetrated up to his upper thigh--not a big deal at the end of the day but still a sobering reminder of the need to stay focused.  Anders said that many of the crevasses were hundreds of feet deep...

After six and a half hours they reached Camp One at around 7800 feet--right below the infamous Ski Hill.  This will prove to be a major challenge for them tomorrow.  It took 90 minutes to establish Camp One and when we talked to Anders (noon local) he was getting ready to sleep.  He said it is was very warm and they had a thick cloud that had planted on top of them and it made it very sticky--he was just wearing his base layer.  They plan to do the same tomorrow morning and head up to Camp Two.  Anders said his team seemed strong (although it's still early) and all 11 (one climber opted out back in Talkeetna) are good to go....

Here is pic from Camp One and a look up Ski Hill:

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