Sunday, July 14, 2013

AC Denali Post 32 - YES! HE DID IT!

Judy here to report that last night at 11pm, (7pm Alaska time) we received the call we've been hoping for.  Anders, just slightly out of breath, mostly exhilarated, emotional, proud, and excited, "I made it; I'm on the summit!".  It was very emotional for Randy and me to hear his voice and know he had achieved one of his dreams and was experiencing not only a profound sense of accomplishment, but untouched, majestic beauty that few of us can probably even imagine.  This impressive young team, with Dave Hahn at the helm, persevered through all those unrelenting storms, endless days of waiting, precipitous climbing conditions, a 9 hour climb Friday, and another 9.5 hour climb to the summit, and made it to the top of the world, literally.  Denali is the highest mountain in North America, at 20,300 ft!

They were rewarded for their endurance and determination with, as Anders told us, an "awesome" "perfect", "crystal clear" day, where they could see "forever" and it was "so amazing", "so gorgeous".   I asked how the climb was up to the summit, in particular the infamous summit ridge with drops on both sides that I don't even want to think about.  Anders, in his charming way, trying to sort of underplay the risk for his mom, said, "Well, it definitely gets your attention!"  Remarkably, all 8 of the team that remained (2 climbers plus 1 guide turned back at 14K), made it to the top.  Now Anders has stood on the  highest peak of North American, South America, and Africa!

I'm sure Randy will add some pictures in later, but for now I just wanted to relay the news that they had made it!

Of course, after the summit, they were facing about a 4 hour descent back to High Camp at 17K.  We haven't heard back from Anders yet, but are assuming they are safely back in their little tents, crashed out, recovering from a 13+ hour test of endurance.

As a Mom, I wish they could just take a chairlift down at this point.  "Ok, guys you did it, now just hop on that gondola and come home". The truth is, they have to retrace all their ascents and get back down this mountain.  Hopefully, they will face better weather on the way down, and get back to the booming town of Talkeetna in 2 - 3 days.

Who could have imagined Anders would grow up to be such an adventurer?

Here with siblings Jenny, Kara, and Alex, (Anders 2nd from right)

At the risk of many "nice hair" comments, here's Anders, our first baby, with a much younger Randy and me!

Feel free to leave some comments for Anders on this blog so he can read them on his return, and thanks for all your support!

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