Friday, July 5, 2013

AC Denali Post 16: The wait continues....

We took a break from blogging yesterday to celebrate Jen's BD and enjoy the 4th of July festivities.  We talked to Anders for about 15 minutes yesterday and he and his team continue to be trapped in their snowy jail.  Four straight days of wind, cold and snow are beginning to take a bit of a toll.  Anders was still very positive but we could here the stress that this never-ending storm is having on him.  We tried to encourage him about the weather but they see the same weather forecasts that we get and it just doesn't look pretty--the current forecast calls for continuing snow through the 11th of July--almost another week!

There was some good news in that all the teams up at 14,000 feet were able to move up to 17,000 feet on the 3rd as the weather seemed better higher on the mountain (they were pinned there all day yesterday).  The big issue for the teams at 11,200 feet is the next carry involves going through a very exposed portion of the mountain at "Windy Corner" and the weather makes that prospect just too sketchy--they'll need to catch a break soon to preserve a shot at the summit on this trip....time will tell.

Here are Dave's latest two posts:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
We hear that there was better weather in other places on Denali today, but not so much here at 11,000 ft.  Different day, same weather.  It was snow, blowing snow, cloud and blowing cloud.  We made good use of an afternoon sun break to put on harnesses and crampons and go for a short walk on the lower half of “motorcycle hill” which is just above camp.  It was a nice opportunity to stretch legs and review climbing techniques as well as a chance to see some cool blue crevasses.  After a fine Mexican dinner, we chatted to pass the time and listened to radio traffic from around the mountain.  It seems that we might have slightly better weather for a few days, at least according to our radio.  We’ll be ready to take advantage.  There are four other guided parties waiting things out with us at 11 K and I’m certain they are ready to get moving again as well.

Thursday, July 4, 2013
Groundhog Day at 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Another storm day from start to finish.  Moderate winds, light but steady snow falling, poor visibility.  Our POSH tent is a well dug-in fortress; essentially a covered pit in which we’ve cut benches for people and shelves for stoves.  It provided excellent shelter today.  Obviously, we drag out the meals for several hours, eating and talking and talking some more so as to avoid going back into our sleeping tents too soon and for too long.  We each put in a few sessions of digging out the tents during the day, which is good for the tents, but also for our muscles and our brains.  In late afternoon, the team assembled for a lesson in how we’ll climb the “fixed ropes” section of the route between 15,000 and 16,000 ft.  Then it was time for dinner, more talking in the POSH, and finally bed once again.

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