Sunday, July 14, 2013

AC Denali Post 32: More on the Summit and the path ahead

Please see Judy's post below for details on the summit day.  Here are a few pics followed by some thoughts on what comes next:

We haven't heard from the team today but presume they were able to descend safely to High Camp late last night.  So what's ahead?

Nothing gets better with time at high altitude if you don't have to stay there.  Or, if you walk into a room with a live hand grenade in your hand, the best case scenario is that you walk out of the room with a live grenade in your other words, no upside in staying high, so we can bet that as soon as the sun hits them and neutralizes some of the bitter cold, they'll break down their camp and head down as fast as they can--the approach will be one of "unhurried haste".  They'll be anxious to get down as quickly as possible, but will do so with deliberate purpose on the many tricky and exposed climbing sections below them.

If the weather allows, they'll mosty like push pass ABC at 14,000 and continue down to at least 11,200 and perhaps lower.  We would expect them, weather permitting, to reach the airstrip some time on Monday or perhaps Tuesday.  From there the weather needs to cooperate so that the pilots can swoop in and bring them back to Talkeetna and the simple pleasures of warmth and thick air.

We'll update when we hear from the team later today....

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