2001 Denali Cybercast
June 28, 2001 8:00pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team IX
Hey this is John Race with Alpine Ascents and Team Gus Smokewood, and it is Thursday the 28th of June, 8pm. We didn't make our summit attempt today, the winds were a little too high, so we're probably going to try for it tomorrow morning, and have at it. Everybody continues to be very healthy, and no teams have made it up in the last couple of days, but there are three teams out trying to climb tonight, including Allen and Lhakpa's Team with Alpine Ascents, so with any luck we'll pass them on their way down or they'll get down before we head up. We plan to summit Friday, We've got our fingers crossed, hope to have good weather, and we're all doing well and we'll give you a call from the summit. Okay, this is John Race out.
June 28, 2001 7:51pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team X
Hey web cruisers, this is Dave Bangert with Team Nutmeg, we're still at 14,000 on Denali. We did a carry up to 16.2 today, we actually kind of broke the team up a bit, I took three of the guys up early this morning and Matt took a couple of other guys up later this afternoon. Jim is still feeling under the weather, so we had somebody stay with him at 14, he's doing fine but we're going to wait until Allen & Lhakpa's group to come down to escort him out. Right now it looks like Allen and Lhakpa's group and John and Terry's group are probably be going for the summit tomorrow and right now we may move up to 17 or we may take another rest day tomorrow. We'll have to talk to Allen tonight and see how they've progressed. But everybody's in good spirits, we had a good carry, and the weather's great, we're looking out at Hunter and it's quite spectacular. Shar, sorry we got cut off the other night, but I'll talk to you soon, bye.
June 28, 2001 4:42pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team VIII
Hey folks it's Thursday June 28th and this is Allen calling you from 17,000 feet. Last night we gave it a go, the clouds parted and the winds calmed down we made it as far as Denali Pass before we saw some lenticulars starting to form, and we hightailed it back to camp just in time, we had quite a wind storm last night. Today it's generally calm, despite some wind in the morning hours, and right now it's about four o'clock and it looks really really good. So we're going to give it a go, we expect to be at Denali Pass in a little under two hours and we're hoping to be at the summit about four or five hours after that. Yep, It'll be a nighttime ascent, but we have unusually warm temperatures up here today which is a real blessing and we have absolutely no wind at the moment. So as the saying goes: "When the weather is good in Alaska, point yourself uphill." So that's exactly what we're doing, everyone's really excited, we're just going to see how it goes, we'll get to Denali Pass and kind of do a gut check, and look around in the sky for any clouds developing, and if everything looks good, we should be able to reach the summit soon after that, and we'll definitely give you a call from there provided the batteries aren't frozen; I don't like carrying them in my pocket too much, that's, well, we won't get into that. At any rate everyone's in great shape, everyone's in good spirits, and Today is our big day, we're going to make a push for the summit and we're going to make this one count, so I'm hoping that the next call will be from the top. For now this is Allen saying, see ya.
June 27, 2001 5:57pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team VIII
Hey everybody this is Allen Carbert at 17,000 feet on Denali and yes indeed, today was the day that we have all been looking forward to with much anticipation: today was to be summit day. However as it turns out, today was our first bad weather day. We woke up to winds and cold temperatures. We waited for about three hours to see if the winds would die down and conditions would improve, but our window of opportunity closed up on us. Huge lenticular clouds over the top of Denali, huge lenticular clouds over Mt. Foraker and Mt. Crosson. Lenticulars generally indicate poor weather and high winds, it's a mixing of jet streams, and it's a bad thing to see when you want to go to the top of a 20,000 foot mountain.
So we spent much of the day securing our camp, building thick wind walls, some of our wind walls are in fact two and a half feet thick. We spent time re-anchoring our tents and trying to make life a little more livable up here. The group is doing fine, we still have all six expedition members that started with us in Talkeetna, and all six individuals are in good health and good spirits and still highly motivated to reach the top. We will make our second attempt tomorrow should the weather improve as we expect it to. We still have several days to make our summit bid so we're waiting patiently, eating all sorts of good food and drinking lots of hot chocolate. So until I have something more exciting to say I am going to hang up the phone and dive back into my nice warm sleeping bag because the winds haven't let up as I might have mentioned. It's still probably 20 mph winds and we have temperatures probably close to minus five, making it very very uncomfortable for me standing here with the cell phone in my hand. I will call you all tomorrow, I hope from the summit and we'll pass the phone around and you can hear from your friends family and loved ones. So until then everybody sit tight and stay tuned, just as we're doing, this is Allen signing off.
June 27, 2001 1:32pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team IX
Hey this is John Race with Team Gus Smokewood, this is Wednesday June 27th, and we're at 17.2. We decided to take a rest day, and it actually turned that we couldn't go up because the weather's not good, a little windy, not too cold though, and we plan to go for the summit tomorrow. And when I can find the time to call when it's not so windy I will. But our plan right now is to go for the summit on the 28th, Everyone's real strong.
June 27, 2001 12:58pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team X
Hey guys this is Dave Bangert with Team Nutmeg, we're out on the Edge of the World right now, looking down onto the NW Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, better known as the "Valley of Death" We've got a pretty interesting day, it looks like up high we've got some pretty high winds, Allen's group and John's group are probably pinned down up there, looks like they've got a big lenticular. Our group's doing well, we're just taking a rest day, we're eating a bunch, we're going to go back and work on fixed lines and running protection an basically just chill out. We'll be doing a carry up to 16.2 tomorrow and we'll probably check in with you then. This is Team Nutmeg out.
June 26, 2001 5:09pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team X
Matt: Hello friends and family of Alpine Ascents Expedition #10 on Mt. McKinley. We are doing really well here at 14.2, we are having a rest day. It's a beautiful sweltering day here, we just did a back carry down to the corner, to Windy Corner and picked up our cache of food and fuel, brought it back up here and had a big bowl of ice cream, as we stand around in our underwear here on Mt. McKinley, pretty odd sight. Anyway, just thought I'd check in, and we will be probably doing a rest day again tomorrow and then a carry day the day after that, so we'll keep in touch, thanks for listening, take care, bye.
June 26, 2001 2:26pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team VIII
Hi this is Ivan, I want to say hi to the whole gang who is following along, we're standing at 17,200 feet right now. Absolutely spectacular day, we are overlooking Mt. Foraker, and the spectacular glaciers below. It was an unbelievably exhausting climb up to the 17,000 feet yesterday from 14,000 feet with a 50-pound pack, that was the toughest thing I have ever done in my life. We spent today resting and hydrating and getting ready for a summit push tomorrow if weather permits. I want to say hi to everybody, love you all, especially Aeaja, love you miss you and see you soon.
Hey this is Brian, (static) to my sister and Ellen, I love you guys, (static) Tomorrow hopefully, God willing we'll make it to the top otherwise I will call you when I get to the bottom and get back to civilization."
"Hi this is John, at 17.2, just wanted to say hi to everyone who's following this especially Pup, I may get back a couple of days early, so look forward to seeing you when I get back hopefully. Buh bye.
"Hi this is Mike, how you all doing, everybody's resting up here at high camp, it was a pretty exhausting climb yesterday, and we've got half of the oxygen now but we're getting ready for summit day tomorrow. I just want to say I love you to Donna, Christy, Matthew, Buddy, Cloud, and to my family, and Happy Birthday Mary Ann, I'm sorry I missed it earlier, and hopefully we'll have a good time on summit day tomorrow, Okay talk to you all later, bye, bye.
This is Mel from 17,000 foot camp, Less air up here obviously, can tell the difference distinctly, but hope all is well, I appreciate all the support friends and family have given to get me this far. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, to summit day, which I think will be the final push that all the support you've given me has allowed me to do. Take care.
Hi this is Jan from 17,000 feet, This is a great, surprisingly I feel really good. Hi to Joe, I love you and (Hellos to several other people that were unintelligible due to static) tomorrow's the big day. Yesterday was really, really tough, and tomorrow's not going to be any easier at all, so you all keep me in your prayers, please. Talk to you later, bye bye.
June 25, 2001 8:19pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team VIII
Hey everybody this is Allen Carbert calling you from 17,000 feet on Denali. Yep, the Habaneros Eight, arrived this afternoon in good form. We've been greeted by some light snow and poor visibility, but that's okay, this camp is a very social place, and everybody's talking to people from all over the world, we just had a delicious dinner. And boy, you know that's about it, everybody just pretty much wanted to let you folks back at home know that everything is going just fine. And tomorrow we'll probably take a rest day, before we make our bid for the summit. We do have a very favorable forecast and unusually warm temperatures right now, so we're all sleeping well and living the good life here in the mountains. Well, I guess because we are a little short on air up here at 17,000 feet, I won't be long-winded with my message. But stay tuned for tomorrow as we will give you a call and let you know what's going on. Bye bye.
June 25, 2001 8:01pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team X
Hey there web monkeys, this is Matt Szundy, checking in with you from Mt. McKinley. We're at 14,000 feet right now, our team just moved to what is basically our Camp IV. We are just finished a nice dinner and are enjoying some dessert. It was a little bit overcast today, our first sort of bad day of the trip, weather-wise. Otherwise everybody is doing great, we made a real strong move today and tomorrow we're going to do a back carry down to Windy Corner about 13.8, to pick up the rest of our food and fuel that we have cached there. And then we will continue with resting and acclimatizing here at 14,000 feet. So we'll check in with you again when we continue on up the mountain. Probably make a carry to 16.2 in approximately two or three days. And then move up to high camp after that. So we'll touch base with you then, this is Matt Szundy standing by, thanks.
June 25, 2001 6:32pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team IX
Hello all you cyber climbers, this is Lawdon with Alpine Ascents' Gus Smokewood Denali team, here at 14,000 feet. We're taking a rest today after tackling the headwall yesterday and making a cache at 16.2. We've had spectacular weather up to this point, so we're all having a hard time believing our luck that the one poor weather day we had, fell on a rest day. Actually it's not so bad, cloudy with light snow, but not great climbing weather. The team is feeling strong and we are all excited about the next few days, looking forward to a summit bid on Wednesday or Thursday if all goes well. I think our climb up the headwall did wonders for our confidence. We made great time and moved well as a team. Those of us who were a little intimidated by the steepness of the terrain discovered that we are certainly up to the challenge.
I'd like to thank John Race and Terry Ahern for their excellent guiding abilities, some of us might not have made it this far without them. And I'd like to send my love to Angel, I think of you every day. And finally, to Todd and Giles, keep believing, dreams can come true. Happy trails to everyone.
June 24, 2001 8:44pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VIII
Hey folks this is Allen Carbert calling you from 14,000 feet on Denali. It is Sunday, June 24th and today was our rest day at 14,000 feet. We did have a little bit of excitement: we walked out to The Edge of The World, and we managed to come close to burning down the Posh House, as Lhakpa was busy working with the stoves. and Ivan managed to get lost in a whiteout coming back from the outhouse this afternoon.
We have probably 200 feet of visibility right now, no wind, real light snow, a good rest day for everybody, but we're champing at the bit to move higher on the mountain to put ourselves in position for a summit. Tomorrow look forward to a brief phone call from us, we should be calling you from 17 if all goes well. For now that's all, and we'll talk with you later, bye, bye.
June 24, 2001 1:08pm, Camp II, Alaska. Team X
Hey cyberland this is Dave Bangert again, with Team Nutmeg, although, I'm leaning towards team Yamaguchi, but we'll let you guys know in a bit.
"Hi everybody this is Jim, I want to say hi to all of our family and friends in San Diego. Spectacular country up here, but I'm battling a very nasty cold and it's giving me a lot of trouble. Anyway, I'm going to hand off to Dave..."
(unintelligible) who's up in Connecticut, Gail, I miss you very much and I'm looking forward to seeing you: yeah you really would love it up here. bye.
Dave: "We may be taking a rest day tomorrow, we not, but if we're heading up we'll be in touch. The weather's looking pretty good right now, although it looks like we've got a forest fire going on, a lot of smog out there. Shar, love you much, bye."
June 23, 2001 8:41pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team IX
It is Saturday June 23rd, we're Team Gus Smokewood, and we are at 14.2, and we are planning to carry tomorrow to 16.2 and take a rest day and possibly another rest day after that. everybody's doing really well, everybody's going on the carry, we're very healthy, very strong and super prepared: we've had very good weather to do all of our training and packing, and so it's been leisurely although it's been a quick trip, in some ways, the weather's been so good, we've had tons of time to rest up. I'm going to hand the phone over to Patrick, he's got some things he wants to say to folks he knows, and we'll probably let each person do this once during the course of the trip. Talk to you guys later.
"Okay I'll just read what I've got written down here: This is Patrick at 14,000 foot camp saying hello to my family back home. Congratulations to Mom, Kathleen, and Mariah, for finishing up another year of school, hope you guys are doing great. And to Dad, a belated happy father's day, and Joe and Jen I hope things are going great with you as well. Cory studying hard for sure, I miss you can't wait to see you in San Francisco, hang in there with class, you have some happy hour obligations when I get back. And to all my friends in Avon, Todd and T(?), Jody and Chris, drink one for me if you get the chance, things here are going great, incredible weather and views, and we're progressing up the mountain at a good pace. I have been and will be thinking about you all and can't wait to tell you all about this trip."
June 23, 2001 10:49am, Camp IV, Alaska. Team IX
Hey guys this is John Race, Saturday June 23rd about 10:45 in the morning, and we've chosen as our team name: "The Adventures of Gus Smokewood," long story there, but that's our team name. And we're going to put in a more detailed cybercast later. We're at the camp at 14.2, yesterday we moved up from 11, and in the morning the weather was a little questionable, but we went ahead and climbed anyway, which was a good thing because the weather improves and it's beautiful right now at 14.2.
Quite a few of the guided parties are moving up today, we're planning to go down and pick up our cache at 13.5 and then we'll spend the day practicing fixed lines and getting ready basically to make a carry up to 16.2, probably tomorrow and then we'll be taking a rest day or two before we move any higher. Everybody's doing real well, everybody slept real well last night, they're super strong. I haven't noticed any real altitude problems at this point, so our team's 100% and doing real well. We will check in with you guys later on today and some of the climbers have various messages they want to pass onto their families, things like that, so look to hear from us. The weather is fantastic right now, and we're looking at a couple more days of good weather it sounds like. We'll talk to you soon, this is John Race with Alpine Ascents, over and out.
June 23, 2001 10:51am, Camp II, Alaska. Team X
Hey cyberland this is db again with Team Nutmeg -- don't ask why it's a long story. We're down here at 10,300 doing a back carry, we'll be heading back up to the 11,000 camp, doing our carry to morrow to about 13.5 and we'll just kind of play it by ear after that because we have a rest day. So I've got some team members here that would like to say hello to folks out there, I've got Eric right here and I'm going to pass him over...
"I'd like to say hi to my wife Shelley, Kendall Christina. I'd like to say hi to Faldude(?), Jose and the trigeek(?) it is truly beautiful up here, and we're real strong and we're having a great time. Here's Scott Gilbert:"
"This is Scott Gilbert, just want to say hello to Mom and Dad, having a great time we'll probably get done early and swing by in the way home, look forward to that. And here's Parker Rios..."
"Hello Milwaukee, hope you're enjoying a good summer, we're having a great one up here on the Kahiltna Glacier, Bagging a lot of rays, taking it easy, making some strong carries, let me pass it on to Gary..."
"Hi this is Gary, I'd like to say hi to my wife Robin, miss you a lot, looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks here, We'll probably be done early, perhaps. The weather's been great, incredible views here and everybody's doing okay. I'll pass it back to Dave.."
"A couple of our guys are hanging out up at 11.2 camp, they're taking a bit of a rest day, they're feeling a little under the weather, but hopefully we can give them a little bit of rest and they'll recuperate and be heading up to 14 soon. Here's my co-guide Matt Szundy to say hello..."
"Hey there gang, everybody's looking real strong up here, we're enjoying some fantastic weather, we are in the process, as Dave said, of doing a back carry and we're going to eventually get up to 14 in the next few days. If this weather holds, we're going to be real psyched. Hi to everybody, thanks, bye.
June 22, 2001 8:49pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VIII
Hello everybody, this is Allen Carbert calling you from 14,000 feet on Denali, leading the Habaneros Eight to the top of the mountain. today was a rest day for us. We had generally good weather despite some high winds last night that definitely got our attention. The group is in excellent health and in good spirits today we lounged around and did quite a bit of reading, we did some skills review on how to manage our safety on the fixed lines and how to pass protection and some nifty little tricks we are going to need to now higher on the mountain. And then we all gathered in the Posh House for some ice cream and brownies and we just finished off a delicious diner of Phad Thai noodles and hot drinks.
Right now I am standing in a complete whiteout, I can probably see about a hundred feet away from me, the winds are calm and its probably about 45 degrees out. The forecast sounds really good for the next couple of days, and we will advance the equipment higher on the mountain and then put ourselves in position for a move to high camp. The forecasts have been terribly inaccurate so what we are doing now what we call a 'now-cast': we just stick our heads outside the tent and decide what the weather's going to be like. Beyond that, don't' have a whole lot to say, we'll give you all a call tomorrow and just let you know how our carry went. If all things go well, we should be departing our camp here around 8am and returning sometime around two o'clock. So that's all for now and we'll keep you posted as we keep moving up the mountain, we'll talk to you later, bye bye.
June 22, 2001 8:31am, Camp I, Alaska. Team X
Hello cyber land, this is Dave Bangert, with Alpine Ascents final Denali trip of the year 2001. My co-guide, Matt Szundy and I are having a good time with our group, everybody's going strong. With us we've got, Dave, Eric, Gary, Jim, Parker and Scott. It's a good group, everybody's healthy. Right now we are moving up to 11 Camp. Our plan for the next few days: we'll do a back carry tomorrow, do a carry up to 13.5 the following day, take a rest day, and then move up to 14. We'll try and get in touch with you guys in the next few days and let you know our progress. This is Dave Bangert and we'll talk to you soon.
June 21, 2001 8:57pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VIII
Hello everybody this is Allen Carbert calling you from 14,000 feet on Denali. Today was a good day, we made our back carry to Windy Corner and picked up all sorts of food, fuel and extra goodies, in fact right now John Diener is trying to make some instant pudding and we're going to use some more Oreo cookies to spice that pudding up. He's working feverishly and he's doing a darn good job of it too. So listen, everybody's in good spirits everybody's in good health, we're having a great time, the weather has looked real good for us, the forecast might give us some challenges to deal with in the not-too-distant future, but that's okay because we're on rest days right now for the next couple of days. I want to pass the phone around to all these fine individuals and let them tell it to you themselves, just how much fun we're having here on the big mountain. So here we go:
"Hi this is Jan, and I just want to tell my new granddaughter, Olivia Claire, Happy Birthday, and Grandma will be there very soon to give you a big hug and Patrice I hope you're feeling great and recovering very very well, I love you. And I need to tell my friends Rick, Jim, Perry and everybody an Uniweb, hi. Here's Ivan..."
"Hi this is Ivan, I'm doing fine to the whole gang who's watching this. The weather again, as Allen said it's been just great up here, although last night it got real cold, like minus five. I'm looking forward to summit day which is coming up in a few days. Talk to you later."
"Hey this is Brian I just wanted to say hello to my mom, dad, Megan and Ellen, I miss you guys, I love you. I also wanted to say hello to Andrew, Sheik, Art, and the whole group back at Akili, I hope all is going well and I look forward to seeing you guys soon."
"This is Mel, I wanted to leave a message for Vanessa. Hope Denny and David are helping you out taking care of things there, I'm sure they are, just hang in there and I'll see you in a couple of weeks."
"Hi this is Mike. No more dogsleds, no more dogsleds, thank God we are done with those after yesterday's big haul. Anyway we've been having a good time, good fun here. Brian, my ER doc brother, who is a flatlander: we've got an ER doc here who likes to get at high altitude. Anyway we're having a good time, hopefully you can learn something from Dr. Ivan. To Steve, Mike, Kenny Kwan, Wendy Marsh, the rest of the guys at Cisco, have fun doing a live test and bringing those folks up live, sorry if I missed your names, and to Jonathan(?) and Matthew, I love you and keep going."
"Hi it's pudding John here, In my toasty warm down jacket. Pop I know you're reading this regularly, I just wanted to say hello, wish you were here."
June 20, 2001 10:00pm, Talkeetna, Alaska.
Team VII Final Dispatch.
Hi this is Eric and Gene, team leaders of the Mama's Boys. We successfully completed our climb, and we're now safely off the glacier and enjoying real food, at The Latitude in beautiful downtown Talkeetna, Alaska, elevation 330 feet. Our last day on the mountain was a challenging march, seasoned by the email received on the mountain by one of our members from, you guessed it, his mama. The last hour and half of our descent was actually uphill, hence the name, Heartbreak Hill, and reminded us all that climbing the highest peak in North America is truly a phenomenal endeavor from beginning to end. The climbers all agreed that their next vacation may be a bit less strenuous but the experience of summiting Denali at 20,320 feet, will stand forever as a major accomplishment and very fulfilling adventure. That's all for now, bye.
June 20, 2001 7:45pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VIII
Hey folks this is Allen Carbert, working with Lhakpa Rita Sherpa, leading the Habaneros Eight to the top of Denali. Today was a big day for us, we made our move from 11,000 feet to the 14,000 foot camp. This is a beautiful place to be, we've got outstanding views of Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter, and all of the other peaks of the Alaska Range off in this direction. Just gorgeous weather today for our move up. The temperatures weren't too bad until we hit Windy Corner and then we got above the clouds a little bit and the sun was intense. But we've hauled our sleds up here and we've got a great camp set up, we're looking forward to a delicious dinner tonight and tomorrow is going to be a pretty easy day for us we think, we're just going to go back and collect some more food, bring it up to camp and start enjoying the good life here at 14,000 feet.
It's a pretty empty camp right now, I'd say there's probably only about 50 people around here whereas compared to the earlier trip I did this year, I'd say there were probably four hundred people, so we're enjoying a bit of solitude for once. At any rate, we want to check in with you all tomorrow and we'll let you know how people did their first night here at 14,000 feet. Everybody here wishes their friends and families back in the states well, and tomorrow we'll pass the phone around for that personal touch okay? For now this is Allen signing off and wishing you all well back at home. Bye bye.
June 19, 2001 6:48pm, Camp II, Alaska. Team IX
It's June 19th at 7pm. This is John Race with Alpine Ascents Denali expedition, we flew onto the Kahiltna Glacier June 15th, so this is Trip #9. I'm leading the trip with Terry Ahern, and this will be my ninth time on the mountain. Our team consists of Lawdon, Bradd Rosenquist, Jeff Mathy, Scott Anderson, Rob Friedman and Patrick Martin. After days of agonizing over a team name we haven't settled on one so we'll have that for the next cybercast. We're camped at 10,350 feet, just below Kahiltna Pass. Yesterday we carried to here from our camp at 8,000 feet. Today we moved up about four hours and moved into a perfect camp here at 10.3. This part of the mountain is know for getting more than the usual amount of snow. We decided to risk the extra snow shoveling because the camp provides wonderful solitude before moving into more crowded camps at 11.2 and 14.2.
It is spectacular on this sunny day: we can see a good twenty-five miles down the mass of Kahiltna Glacier and can see most of the route we've taken since leaving base camp three days ago. We've been waking up at 1:45am and doing any glacier travel between about 3:30 and 9 in the morning. We do this because it is unbearably hot during the day and the glacier softens so much that walking becomes difficult and crevasse falls are more possible. During the early morning hours, the glacier is frozen and we can walk on the surface. The route is in fantastic shape and we've been running into friends left and right. Many of the teams know other Alpine Ascents climbers from their 6 and 13-Day mountaineering courses, and it's been a real thrill for them to compare notes now that they are on a big mountain. We also ran into Emily Johnson and Anne Keller down from their attempt to climb. Last night we were in a heavy rain shower at our camp at 8,000 feet. Despite being a hassle and potential danger for people away from their camp, it was a thrill to experience in the shelter of our tents, I don't recall being rained on here before, it happens, but not often.
Couldn't ask for a better team, we range in age from 21 to 57, and everyone is very strong and very motivated, the combination of good company and great weather is making light work for Terry and I. We plan to move our camp and our cache to 11.2 tomorrow morning, the twentieth of June. A belated happy Father's Day to all of our dads and love and good thoughts to our families. What a day, what a place, talk to you in a few days when we can pick up cell coverage again. John Race and Alpine Ascents group #9 on Denali over and out, bye.
June 19, 2001 4:49pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VII
Hello everybody this is Eric Larson again and the Mama's Boy's Group. We're doing fine, we just walked from 17 down to 14 camp grabbed our cache and we're packing up right now to hike down to 11,000 feet tonight to camp, and then we will be carrying tomorrow morning all the way to the airstrip and hopefully with weather, we'll be able to fly out tomorrow afternoon. We'll get another cybercast to you, tell you what's going on. This is Eric and we're out of here. Bye.
June 19, 2001 1:22pm, Camp III, Alaska. Team VIII
Hi this is Habaneros 8, we are at Windy Corner where we are caching our gear which we brought up from 11,000. Nice little snowstorm last night, not really a snow storm, but just a few inches of snow, but it did rain all night. We had a wonderful breakfast this morning, bacon, that Ivan of course wouldn't eat. Everybody's doing really good. (Static prevented the rest of the message from being intelligible).
June 18, 2001 5:12pm, Summit of Denali, Alaska. Team VII
Hey cybercasters, friends and families, this is Eric Larson and Team Mama's Boys, we're at 20,320 feet in North America, the highest point, Denali! Everybody's doing pretty good it was a rough start, rough going, but we made it and we are going to take our time getting down today, It's five o'clock in the afternoon so we should probably be getting back into camp around ten o'clock I'm guessing. Everybody's doing well, spirits are there, and we'll try to get another one out to you as soon as we can. Bye.
June 18, 2001 5:01pm, Talkeetna, Alaska. Team VI. Final Dispatch
Hi this is Mike and Jesse reporting from the Denali 6 ascent. On Sunday, the 17th of June the Global Penguin Patrol reached Kahiltna Base Camp on yet another fantastic day. After a bright scenic flight and discovering that a rumors of a hot water shortage in Talkeetna were false. We all met at the West Rib grill and bar. Our waitress, who was obviously not having a good night, was further thrown off kilter when most of us ordered a second main course later in the evening. This is Mike and Jesse signing off with strong feelings of a challenging and fun trip which we will hold with us. Hooray to all.
June 18, 2001 10:21am, Camp III, Alaska. Team VIII
Brian: Hey this is Denali expedition #8. We were calling ourselves the Habaneros Seven but I think we need to do a little bit of correction and change that to Habaneros Eight before we go any further. We are presently at 10,600 digging up one of our caches, we are about to head back up to 11,200 where we were camped last night. Had a little bit of cloudy weather midway through but all in all everything's looking pretty good. Everyone's doing real well, looking really great, they're all staring at me right now, making me a bit nervous.
We're just getting ready to pass the phone around, I just wanted to say a quick hello to my father, I hope you had a good father's day, and to mom, granddaddy's been with me every step of the way. To my sister I hope all is going well, and to Ellen, I miss you and I love you, and I am going to hand the phone off now to the rest of the group."
"Hi this is Jan, just wanted to say hi to Joe and my family. My daughter, I hope you are doing well, and that baby's about ready. And I just wanted to say hi to Jack, my climbing partner, haven't found a 5.10 yet, except down in the pub which isn't too bad a place to find a 5.10. Anyway hope everything's going well and hi to all of my friends.
Hi this is Ivan, good morning up here. Mountaineers sure love bacon, but I'm not eating any of that stuff, I'll tell you that. Wanted to say hi to my dog Beethoven, Aitcha(?) miss you love you and I'll talk to you soon."
"This is Mel. Brian I hope you had a great Father's Day, and the girls took care of you just great. otherwise things are going well, and hope everyone's having a good time back there. Take Care."
John: "Hi just wanted to say hi to all of my friends and family. It's beautiful up here. Wish you guys could see this, it looks great, the weather's holding up really well, we're having a good time, everybody's in good shape, so we'll go on from there."
"Hi folks this is Mike Matthew, hope all is well, Just down on the land lovers. Wanted to say hi to Donna, Christy, Matthew, Cloud and Buddy, hope Cloud and Buddy are having fun running around on the stairs. And I just wanted to say hi to my friends and family, I love you all. This is a great group, we're having lots and lots of fun. Its the longest sled ride I've ever done in my life, about 2,000 feet and that's one of the best sled rides I've ever had."
"Okay folks this is Allen signing off and we'll catch up with you in a couple of days when we get back in cell phone range. bye for now."
June 17, 2001 4:37pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team VII
Hello this is Gene Pires from Alpine Ascents Denali Expedition #7, the Mama's Boys, and today we're resting up at the 17,000 foot camp, and the weather's perfect, hardly a breeze, things are nice. Our plan is tomorrow morning to go for the summit, and then come back tomorrow night and rest again. And then hopefully we'll be on our way down the day after back to the airstrip. Everybody's doing fine and everybody sends their love and best wishes. All right, bye.
June 17, 2001 8:40am, Camp III, Alaska. Team VIII
Hey folks this is Allen, with the Denali Expedition #8, I think we've been calling ourselves #7 because that's the more lucky number. At any rate we're making our move to 11,000 foot camp. We're on a night schedule, so this morning we woke up at 2am and were out of camp by 4. It's a beautiful sunshiny day with light winds and cool temperatures. The group is doing real well and we expect to be at our 11,000 foot camp here in a bout an hour and a half. We'll make one more call tomorrow morning and then that'll be it for a couple of days because we will be out of cell phone contact. I would like to wish a happy father's day to all of the fathers out there and beyond that stay tuned for more thrills, chills, laughter, and action. Bye for now.
June 16, 2001 9:19pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team VII
Hey guys this is Eric Larson again. We're at 17.2, we just did a long day of carrying up. We got lucky and we switched camps with the other expedition so we were psyched that we didn't have to carry tents up. It's blowing about thirty miles an hour right now and everybody's doing all right, we are going to have a rest day tomorrow, the weather's looking god for Monday's summit, so we'll keep in touch with you, wish us luck.
June 16, 2001 7:51pm, Camp IV, Alaska.
Hi this is Mike and Jesse from the 14,000 foot camp, it's the 16th of June, it's the second transmission for today. We just wanted to let everyone know that we got down to 14 safely and are continuing on down to 11 this evening as was our plan. This means that this will be our last transmission for this expedition, because below 14 we don't get out on the cell phone. We do expect to be at Kahiltna Base mid-afternoon tomorrow and if all goes well, we'll be flying out tomorrow evening. It's certainly an amazing day, we're all sweltering in the heat here at 14, it's fantastic. You should be getting some phone calls soon, so smiles to everyone.
June 16, 2001 11:22am, High Camp, Alaska. Team VI
Good morning this is Mike and Jesse from the 17,00 foot camp on Denali for the Denali #6 expedition. On Friday the 15th, seven members of the Global Penguin patrol reached the summit of Denali in perfect weather. Those who summited were: Doug Mayfield, Justin Dempsey, Dawn Ellefson, Avital Shlomo or 'Mony", Arnold Witzig, Jesse Williams and Mike Roberts. We left high camp at 9am and reached the summit at 6pm. The descent took a further 4 hours making an arduous 13 hour day total.
Our plan today, Saturday the 16th is to descend to the 14,000 foot camp where we have food and equipment cached. Provided everybody feels up to it, we will head down to the stickier and warmer temperatures of the 11,000 foot campsite. Given flyable conditions, we should return to Talkeetna on the evening of Sunday the 17th of June. It will not be long now before loved ones and friends will be in contact. Best wishes all from Mike and Jesse.
June 16, 2001 10:28am, Camp II, Alaska. Team VIII
Hey gang this is Allen with the Habaneros Seven. We're at the top of Ski Hill now, it's a beautiful day. What I'd like to do is to pass the phone around to the expedition members and let 'em send a quick hello to their friends and family back in the states.
"Hi, it's John Diener here, just wanted to say happy father's day Dad, Hi mom, Hi Ming, Everything's going well, nice weather, and hopefully we'll make it to the top soon."
"Hi this is Jan here, wanted to say hi to my dad. Just wanted to let you know that you're still my hero, even though every since I've been a little kid it's been you. You know what you still are. I love you Dad, happy father's day. Wanted to say hi to Joe, Dad's sisters, Patrice, Eric Hunter and Paige."
"This is Mel, having a great time, weather's been good, feeling great, so hope you all are having a good time back in the states."
"Hi this is Ivan, wanted to say hi to everybody, my dog Beethoven, My girlfriend, Aitcha(?), Bob, Michelle, the whole gang, it's just beautiful up here, it's beyond description. Talk to you later."
Mike: "Hey happy father's day, Dad, hope things go well. Hi family, hello Donna, Christy, and Matthew, hope things are going well. Hope the coyotes aren't too noisy at night and the rattlesnakes are safe. I guess we'll talk to you all later."
"Hey this is Brian, just wanted to say hello to my family, say happy father's day to my dad, I love you. Mom, my diabetes is doing well and to my sister, tell Joel he wouldn't believe the pilots up here. And to my girlfriend Ellen, I love you and miss you, be strong. Just another quick hello to all my friends in Dallas and Atlanta. This is the Habaneros Seven signing off.
June 15, 2001 6:03pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VII
Hey this is Eric Larson calling from 14,000 foot camp. It's June 15th, we just got done climbing up to 16,200 feet up the fixed lines, left some gear up there and if weather is good, we'll be pushing up tomorrow to high camp. We're starting to climb the actual West Buttress now. Everybody's doing great, altitude is there, but everybody is doing well, no one is sick or hurt and we should be getting up and down pretty soon. The weather forecast is looking great, full of high pressure, so we should have a very good chance for a successful summit. This is the Mama's Boys, and we'll be talking to you, bye.
June 14, 2001 11:30pm, Talkeetna, Alaska. Team V
Team V called in to say that they all made it back safely to Talkeetna and are heading off to enjoy the culinary delights of this wonderful Alaskan Town. They thank everybody who followed their adventure and will be seeing you all real soon.
June 14, 2001 5:11pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team VI
Hi this is Mike and Jesse from Denali ascent #6. On June the 13th, the Global Penguin patrol successfully completed a camp move from 14,200 to 17,200 which is our high camp. Everybody is now descending the headwall fixed ropes, each for the second time around, the section of which from 16,000 to 17,000 is the most stunning of the climb. While laboring under heavy packs, we were blessed with fantastic views and beautiful evening light. It was 1:30am before we finally laid our heads to rest. Today, June 14th we are having a rest day at high camp and once again we had perfect weather.
Our plan is after hearing the evening weather forecast and assessing the condition of all team members to decide that we will take another rest day and attempt the summit tomorrow. Thinking of all family and friends. Manana.
June 14, 2001 12:19pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VII
Hello this is Gene Pires and Eric Larson of the Mama's Boys with the cybercast. We're at the edge of the world and we're going to pass the phone around to everybody, but me first: Hi to Gabby, miss you, love you. Here's Matt:
"Hi to everyone that's watching, feeling great, the place is unreal, Stace, love you and I miss you. here's Doug":
"This is Doug just saying hit to everybody out there."
"This is Richard Hi to Liz. We've got a great team, sorry we got cut off last night and we'll be down shortly."
"Hi this is Chris Hi to Pam hi to Stuart hi to everyone at work. I'm on the edge of the world I'll pass the phone on. Love you all, bye."
"Hi this is Pat. Hi to Paula, Brittany and Will. Love you all. Everybody else at work I don't really miss you much at all (laughter) you'll have to do without me for another week. We're having a great time the scenery is spectacular, we'll see you all in a little over a week I guess."
"Hi this is Paul standing at the edge of the world, looking down 5,000 feet. I'm feeling great, having a wonderful time. Here's Eric:"
"Team's doing great, we're ready to do a carry up to 16.0 and we'll be pushing up to high camp soon. The weather: we have a high pressure system and with luck we'll be successful. Thanks a lot, bye."
June 13, 2001 11:47am, High Camp, Alaska. Team VI
Good morning the is a report for Tuesday 12th of June for Denali Team VI, The Global Penguin Patrol. On Tuesday we successfully carried a load of fuel food and equipment to 16,100. This involved climbing the fixed lines up the intimidating head wall to gain the West Buttress proper, which everybody did very well. The weather was light snow and restricted visibility but the winds were relatively calm.
Today, Wednesday the 13th of June, after much deliberation, The Global Penguin Patrol has decided to head up to high camp at 17,200. The storm warning for this Thursday has been downgraded and a high pressure system is expected on Friday. Everyone is in good spirits and all are in to face the challenge of the final Camp. Best wishes to all family and friends.
June 12, 2001 11:30pm, Summit of Denali, Alaska. Team V
This is Karl calling with Don, John and Jeff. We're at 20,320 ft on Denali's summit. The other guys want to talk too. Here's Don...
"Hey Tammy, Hi kids, hope everything's going well. We're at the top of Denali. I'm having a hard time talking cause I can't breathe very well but I'll be home in a few days and I'll try calling you a little later on. Mom, dad grandma thanks for following things on the internet, I heard you were doing that, it was nice of you to do that. I'll send pictures when I get back, bye."
"Hey everybody, this is John standing on the top of North America. I can't believe it. Hi Mom, Hi Tanya, I really wish you could see what I'm looking at right now. I'm a little emotional right now but I'm going to pass the phone on now. See you all soon, bye."
"This is Jeff. Top of North America doing a blood test. Who would have thought? I say hello to everybody I love Carrie, Mariah, mom, dad, Bobby. (static) Talk to you soon, bye."
Karl: Thanks for all your help Julie, we'll be down soon. Bye
June 12, 2001 11:20pm, Talkeetna, Alaska. Team VIII, Team V
Hi Denali viewing audience, this is Julie in beautiful scenic Talkeetna, Alaska I'm talking to you from the Talkeetna airstrip right in front of Talkeetna Air Taxi. It's about 11:00 at night and we just got a phone call that we can fly into base camp. So we rousted everybody out of their beds at the Hostel and we are now at the airstrip.
Team V Update: But before I go on with that and hand off the phone to Allen let me tell you that Karl Swanson summited Denali this afternoon with three climbers it was Karl and John Cole, Jeff Mazer, and Don Morgan. I would just like to report that and we congratulate them. And now I will hand off the phone to Mountain Guide extraordinaire, Allen Carbert who will tell you a little bit more about his day at the Talkeetna International airstrip.
Hey folks this is Allen, with an update from Day I of our expedition. Yep, we got a call tonight at about 9:30pm from the air service telling us that conditions were flyable on the glacier. So we rousted ourselves form our beds and well here we are at the Tarmac. It's now 11:15pm we're going to be taking two flights in, both on the Beaver aircraft, so it will be about a two hour delay possibly, between groups arriving on the glacier. So Lhakpa is going to take three to four expedition members in with him and set up a camp and the rest of us will try to wait patiently here in Talkeetna for the Beaver to return and then land us on the glacier. So stay tuned: it will be about three days before we get to the top of Ski Hill where we can make our next cybercast. During the time before that we will be making a carry to Camp I and then moving to Camp I and that will be the following day that we can keep you guys posted on our progress, so for now we'll just say goodbye and we'll look forward to talking to you all soon.
June 12, 2001 10:34pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VII
This is Eric Larson and the Mama's Boys, welcoming everyone to the 14,200 foot camp on the West Buttress of Denali. For the past two days weather has come in and dropped about 12 inches of fresh snow. Our carry to 13.5 and the move to 14.2 camp was very strenuous and the team is definitely feeling the altitude. Right now we are cooking a Phad Thai meal in an igloo, go figure. We're thinking about our strategy for climbing the rest of the mountain because it is pretty cold and everybody is tired. Tomorrow we're going to be dropping down to 13,500 to retrieve our food and fuel. The Mama's Boys give their love to everyone.
June 12, 2001 6:41pm, Talkeetna, Alaska. Team VIII
Hey folks this is Allen Carbert proud to be working with Lhakpa Rita Sherpa leading Alpine Ascents #8 Denali expedition. We'll come up with a more creative name here as our mental capacity allows. I'd like to introduce the expedition members here by their first names and encourage you guys to follow our cybercast from here on out. I'd Like to welcome: Ivan, Jan Mike John Mel and Brian on board. Just to give you an update as to how things are going right now: we've had a good travel day, on Day 1, most of us have traveled 120 miles from Anchorage to Talkeetna. The weather: we're experiencing no winds with probably 60 degree temperatures here in Talkeetna -- we're having a weather delay, gang. We've got poor visibility in the mountains, and the pilots just aren't flying. So we've got to sit tight and keep patient and hopefully we'll get off the ground first thing in the morning. We do plan on giving cybercasts whenever possible but keep in mind folks that there are some areas in the mountain range where cellular communications and radio contact are limited. So there might be a few days where we are ducking in and out of radio contact, but stick with us and we'll keep you posted as to how we are doing on the mountain. Until next time, we'll talk with you later.
June 11, 2001 10:11pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team V
This is Karl with Team V at 17,000 feet on Denali's West Buttress. We're just on our second rest day up here and everybody's doing pretty darn well. We had about a hundred yards of visibility all day today had about 20 knot winds so we stay kind of hunkered down reinforced the snow walls and ate.
Continued static prevented most of the dispatch from being understood, one message did come through: "Hey this is Joe, I'd just like to say congratulations to my little brother Jimmy who is graduating from High School this week, and my love to everybody at home."
June 10, 2001 6:24pm, Camp III, Alaska. Team VII
Mike Roberts: I have another message it's from Eric and Gene (Team VII) it's from the 9th of June. They say: "Hello everybody, this is Eric and Gene again. It is day #6 and we are now at the 11,000 foot camp at the base of Motorcycle Hill. We have been making good time on the night schedule on the lower glacier. We expect to be at the 14,000 foot camp in three days. The weather has been favorable, with cold mornings recorded at minus 10 Fahrenheit. We will be leaving snow shoes and sleds behind and we'll be trading them for crampons and ice axes for the remainder of our stint. The self-proclaimed Mama's Boys have been in good health and spirits and are thinking about their loved ones back home. Good night everyone from Camp III.
June 10, 2001 6:22pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VI
This is Mike and Jesse from Alpine Ascents' IV Denali expedition. The members of the Global Penguin Patrol are now reunited at the 14,200 foot basin camp. Jesse, Mony, and Justin had a great sense of timing, they left the 11,200 foot camp this morning and arrived at 14,200 foot camp just in time for brunch. While strong winds are likely to stop some summit attempts, we spent the afternoon in relatively calm conditions, admiring the view and fortifying the snow block walls that protect our tents.
Conversation around the sociable 14,000 foot camp centered around the weather outlook of three days of strong winds and possibly some snowfall. We are all happy to have a rest day tomorrow. I have a few personal messages to pass on here: "Hello to Emily from Jesse. Arnold says hello to Sima. Kisses and all my love Lilali from Mony, Mony also says hello to family and friends. Hello Keisha, family, and friends from Justin. And Dawn says hello also to family and friends and says not to worry as she is feeling fine and staying warm. Doug says hi to everyone and keeps running with me. Mike passes on special love to Patty and family. So that's all from the expedition on June 10th.
June 9, 2001 10:58pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team V
Team V called in a brief (but static-filled) dispatch saying that they were safely at High Camp and were enjoying a dinner of Mac and Cheese after a touch day of climbing. They are having a good time and wish everybody well and they will phone in another dispatch soon.
June 9, 2001 10:48am, Camp IV, Alaska. Team VI
Hi this is Mike Roberts calling in from 14,000 feet for Alpine Ascents Denali VI expedition. We're calling ourselves the Global Penguin Patrol. We include many different nationalities, such a global group. We have Arnold Witzig from Switzerland, Justin Dempsey from Ireland, Dawn from Canada, Avital Shlomo, (who prefers to be called Mony) from Israel, Douglas Mayfield and Kathleen Sisler from Texas, and guides Jesse Williams from New York State, Mike Roberts from New Zealand.
June the 7th we carried a load of food, fuel and equipment from the 11,200 camp to 13,500. The weather was light blowing snow and low visibility. On June the 8th, regrettably the decision was made by Kathleen Sisler to head down due to her bronchitis and an unresolved chest infection. Jesse, Mony, Justin, and Kathleen arrived at the Kahiltna Base in the early afternoon in perfect weather. After Kathleen flew out, the other three began their return journey up the Kahiltna Glacier and up to the 14,000 foot camp where they have yet to arrive. Meanwhile on June the 8th Arnold Dawn Doug and Mike completed a camp move from 11,200 to 14, 200 in perfect weather.
Today is June the 9th, the weather is once again fantastic Doug Dawn Arnold and Mike plan to retrieve the cache from 13,500 feet. Later today or tomorrow our party is expected to be reunited as Jesse, Mony, and Justin move up to the 14,000 foot camp. That's all for this morning.
June 9, 2001 9:11pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team V
This is Karl with Team V at 14,000 feet on the West Buttress of Denali. We took a load up to 16,000 feet yesterday, brought a bunch of food and fuel and all our warm clothes up. Today our plan is to move up to 17,000 feet high camp and get ready for the summit. We're going to pick up all our warm clothes on the way some food and some fuel. And Wally, the angel that he is, will leave his camp up for us so we'll move up into a nice established camp. Everybody's really excited, everybody's doing really we checked each other's pulse this morning everybody seems really healthy and raring to go. And I'm going to send the phone around so you can talk to some people, here's John:
"Hey this is John, I wanted to say hi to Mom and Tanya again, and we are having a rockin' time I cannot believe the weather we've gotten, and the idea of moving up the headwall, we're all pretty psyched."
"Hi this is Don doing very well we're all excited to be able move up and hopefully next time we talk to you will be after a summit on Tuesday or so."
"Hi it's Joe, I'm feeling good and feeling strong. My love to Linda, Jonathan, Nicholas, Erin and Joseph. And also to Mom, Dad and Jim, talk to you hopefully up at high camp."
"Hello this is Jeff again. My love to Mom and Dad, thanks for your support likewise to Bobby, who I haven't said hello to, but Terry and Ryan I love you guys very much we're all doing well and as we said we're moving up today, pretty excited we'll talk to you soon, bye.
Karl: This is a message to Amy and any of Forrest's friends, Forrest is still in bed so he couldn't give you this message (laughter in background), but he's thinking about you, and we'll talk to you soon. bye now.
June 7, 2001 10:01am, Camp III, Alaska. Team VI
Hello and good morning this is Vern Tejas calling for Mike Roberts and Jesse Williams' trip (Team VI). They're doing well, On June 1 after completing check-in and some familiarities at Talkeetna, the team had a spectacular scenic flight to the Kahiltna Base Cap. On Day II they remained as Base camp for a complete revision of glacier travel crevasse rescue and other alpine expeditionary skills. Day 3, June 3, they departed the Kahiltna Base at 5am in order to avoid the heat of the day and they established Camp I at the base of the Ski Hill, 7,800 feet, and had another fantastic day. June 4 they cached a load of food and equipment at 10,500 feet and then returned to ski hill in very low visibility but high snow falling which precluded the views. Fortunately there was no wind. June 5th, they had a spectacular day and they made camp at 11,200 feet below Motorcycle Hill. And they plan to be here for the next three nights so they can acclimatize. On June 6 they had a free day to retrieve the cache at 10.5 and rest up and recuperate and build new red blood cells. On June 6th they are also planning to move a load of food and equipment around Windy Corner at 13.5 and cache it there. And they expect to actually be going live on June 7 when they get to the 14,200 foot camp. Bye now for Team VI.
June 6, 2000. 9:24pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team V
This is Denali Team V from 14,000 feet on the West Buttress of Denali. We had a great day today, the winds calmed down around noon so we hiked back down to Windy Corner, picked up all the cache of stuff and moved back up to our beautiful camp here at 14,000. Everybody's feeling good a little bit tired but after a meal of burritos and peanut butter chocolate cake everybody's feeling really good and we're going to take a rest day tomorrow, maybe practice some self-arrest skills and work on some fixed line skills and probably just play some cards, and get ready for our hump up to the top of the West Buttress at 16,000, day after tomorrow. That would be Thursday. Hope everybody is safe at home and will wish us luck, and we'll talk to you tomorrow.
June 5, 2000. 11:30pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team V
This is Karl Swanson talking from the Denali expedition Alpine Ascents #5. We're talking from 14,000 feet on the West Buttress. We arrived today in great style, a little bit of overcast weather a little bit of snow, but all in all things went really well. Everybody did a superb job of getting up here, feeling really strong, and I'm going to let everybody add in now:
"Hey this is john saying hi to my Mom and to Tanya I'm feeling absolutely terrific at 14 and just looking forward to the rest of the trip, we're having a great time."
"Hi this is Joe I'd just like to send my love to Linda, Jonathan, Erin, Nicholas and Joseph and I'd like to say happy birthday to Joseph tomorrow."
"This is Jeff, hello to Carrie and Mariah and Mom and Dad, I love you very very much miss you and I'm doing well here, We're at 14 and we're doing well."
"Hi this is Don, Tam, kids I miss you guys see you when I get back. Kelly you need to come up and do this sometime, I'll talk to you later."
"Yeah this is Forrest at 14, we're having a good trip, we've got a strong team here the weather's looking pretty good the next two days. Just had dinner with my best friend who's named Matt Gorsch who's here, and enjoying the social scene here at McKinley Village. That's all we have we'll talk to you again tomorrow."
June 4, 2001 8:31pm. Talkeetna, Alaska. Team VII
Hello everybody, this is Eric Larson expedition leader of Alpine Ascents' Seventh Expedition of 2001. Gene Pires is my right-hand man, he's the lead guide on the glacier with me. At this time our team is practicing some of the critical rescue skills and techniques that we'll need on the mountain. Our team consists of the brother-in-laws, Patrick Richard and Richard Larson (you can figure that one out); a returning Alaska climber Doug Tsao from New York City, A Scottish ice climber, Chris Willis, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Matt Woleben our youngest in the gang who'll be a great asset to our team, then there's Paul Juma who splits his time between North Carolina and Texas.
Our Day 1 is looking like conditions are ten knots out of the west, visibility not good, temperatures below average for the season. A slow moving system is moving in. our supplies are plentiful, fuel amounts are great, packs are extremely heavy though. All in all it's not bad at 330 feet in Talkeetna Alaska. That's right we have not been able to fly onto the glacier yet. The Kahiltna International Base Camp is clouded in and we're spending the night in Talkeetna folks. So we're practicing the most important skill in mountaineering: hurry up and wait. We'll talk to you tomorrow, good night.
June 4, 2001 6:30pm, Camp III, Alaska. Team V
Hey this is Karl with Team V. We are now camping at 11,000 feet with a beautiful view across the cloudy Kahiltna Glacier. We did a carry up to 13,000 feet today and everybody is feeling pretty darn good. We started out with pretty high winds and I wanted to turn around, but everybody wanted to push on so we pushed on up to about Windy Corner and put in a cache, and tomorrow we plan to go to 14.
The team is incredibly strong and we're going good and everybody is really concerned about getting this on the web page: they want their families to read it, so everyone sends their love and best wishes to their families. Over and out, this is Karl signing out.
June 2, 2001 7:09pm. Talkeetna, AK. Team V
Hi this is Julie, and I am cybercasting for Alpine Ascents Trip #5 led by Karl Swanson and Forrest McCarthy. They are at 11,000 feet and everyone's doing great and they say hi and that they miss everyone send out lots of love to all their friends and family.
Don says hi to Tammy and the kids.
Joe says hi to Linda and the kids.
John says hi to Mom and Tanya,
Saxon sends her love and says hi to her mom and dad.
And Jeff says love to Carrie and Mariah and Mom and Dad and you were right about the food. Everyone's doing great and Karl could even tell me where he put the receipt to the garbage dump. So it's a good day in Alaska the sun's shining, the mountain's clear and that's it have a good day, bye.
May 30, 2001 2:32pm, High Camp, Alaska.
Hi everybody it's Todd at 17.2. We were planning on heading to the summit this morning and woke up to very high winds, so we're all kind of snuggled down in our tents. It's sunny and clear but the winds probably look like they're blowing at about 50mph up there, way too high to go up. So everybody's going to hold their position.
I think Vernon and Dave (Team III) are probably doing a carry up to 16 today, because it's protected down there, the 14 camp's a lot lower and there's a small cirque down there.
And I believe that Wally and Matt (Team IV) are on their way up to 11,000.
And Karl and Forrest (Team V) are on the mountain moving too, so we got lots of groups and lots of action happening.
Things are great up here the mountain looks beautiful, conditions are good, The snow condition, we're walking on a nice hard surface, so we should make good time when the weather does break. Our forecast is always uncertain here, we never quite know what it is the wind seems to change a lot, sometime they're blowing 30 from the south, 30 from the north etc., but we're hoping to get a good break tomorrow and make a run for it because there may be some weather heading in in a couple of days. Allen and Pat (Team II) and everybody up here is doing great and Lhakpa is too. But we'll keep you posted and that's all from 17.2.
May 29, 2001 1:27pm, Camp IV, Alaska.
Hi everybody this is Todd at 17.2, high camp for the West Buttress. I'm here with Allen and Pat's Group (STP). Everything is great, a little windy today, but it's our rest day. Several people are going for it--we'll see how it turns out. Looks windy up high, but it's pretty calm here, it'll give us a good indication of what the winds are doing.
Vernon and Dave's Group (Team III), is down at 14, I visited with them yesterday and their group is in very good shape.
And Wally and Matt's team Team IV are somewhere out there, lower down probably between 11,000 and 8,000 feet.
And Karl and Forrest, Team V, are taking off today, so all the (current) expeditions are on their way. Things are great and life is good high on the mountain. Talk to you soon, buh bye.
Below are the archived dispatches from Teams 1-4 from our 2001 Denali season.
June 15, 2001 11:30pm, Los Angeles, California.
Team IV, "The Climb for Courage" Final Dispatch
This is Phil here, writing in this time from an internet café from Los Angeles, a scant four days since we came off the glacier. As I imagine is the case with just about anyone who undertakes an expedition on Denali, I have scores of thoughts blowing around in my mind and heart like so much snow at 17,000. I'm not going to try to convey all of the many half-formed or half-baked or still obscured by something or other, but there are a few points I'd like to mention, a few thank yous I'd like to make.
To update you on the play-by-play: We got to spend a few days in Talkeetna, which was great fun and, if not exactly a remedy for lack of rest. The Fairview does stay open pretty late, and breakfast at the Roadhouse gets going pretty early, it was a terrific way to spend some more time with the members of the team, including Sonya, who waited for us in town (and mothered us upon our bleary-eyed arrival), Wally and Matt, Julie, the glue that holds the AAI AK operation together, and assorted other folks. Ellen and I rode into Anchorage with Sonya and a newly clean shaven Jon (Michelle stayed in Talkeetna and for all I know could still be there), then hopped in a car and drove down to Homer for a few days on Matt's recommendation.
And everywhere were thoughts and images and memories of Denali. We hurried to get pictures developed, because the whole experience passed so quickly, a documented record seemed necessary to prove it actually happened. We talked about specific instances, about the long haul from 14 to 17, or from 14 back down to base camp, about various meals at various camps, about the summit and how, in the context of the entire trip and the entire mountain, it was not really the primary objective, but part of the larger effort. We wondered about incorporating the experience(s) into the rest of our lives, when we go back to New York or Hong Kong or wherever, about holding on to the feeling of taking on a challenge that seemed, perhaps, greater than one's ability, and then surmounting it.
Wally and Matt both talked about the summit, as a concept, often being attached with some sense of finality, as if once one reaches it weather permitting, of course, that's it, the party's over. But that's hardly the case on the mountain, not with the arduous task of getting down, with all the care that must be taken to guard against any lapses and the inherently difficult task of descending the steep faces, was it like this on the way up? that had to be climbed to get there in the first place. And that's not the case with coming off the mountain. We're all probably dealing now with the issue of re-integrating into our "normal" lives, where colors other than white exist, where the sun goes down once in a while, where things flush and flow from taps and have wheels and there is news and noise and people who have concerns other than getting to the next camp (literally if not metaphorically). But the mountain is still there, and that trip up its West Buttress is now internalized, still challenging, possibly more so because its path is less defined.
The team effort and it was a wonderful team is now a series of individual ones, each unique, nuanced, likely to change from day to day, person to person The idea I'd like to leave with, the idea I feel most strongly right now, right here in LA (I'm visiting my sister on my way back to Hong Kong, which is a re-entry I expect to go about as smoothly as Apollo 13's), is that of mindfulness. It's a word Matt used often, a state of awareness needed in climbing when you're depending on partners and teammates and weather and any number of things over which we have no control whatsoever. It's about keeping eyes and ears open, about mixing aggressiveness with patience, determination with compassion, and understanding, in the end, that the journey, the way up, the step by step by step, that's the goal, the objective. The summit, should it present itself, that's good fortune.
Mindfulness has a special resonance for us as well, given the purpose of our climb. The torture survivors at the Bellevue / NYU Program don't give off immediate signs of trauma. Dr. Keller can recognize symptoms, but most everyone would be hard pressed to do likewise. But by being mindful of anyone, one opens oneself up to the possibility of lending a hand, of being around when a person reveals a way in which they could use some help, for a moment or for a period of time. It's a way of walking through the world of sharing the world and understanding that the people who surround us might, at a given time, be in need, or they might be able to help us when we're in need. This is something to work towards with vigilance, an ideal, I should say, before I imply that it's an everyday reality for me as opposed to an aspiration. Again, awareness, eyes and ears open, determination, patience, respect, consciousness. I think all of us who were on the mountain as part of the Survivor Fund effort and the scores of people who supported us around the world walked off Denali stronger because of what we shared.
Thanks to everyone who checked in. I hope these reports added something to the trip, to the nuts and bolts and to the nuances that play just as big of a role. It was such a thrill to be a part of and to experience, and we're glad you chose to share part of it with us. Take care.
June 9, 2001 11:04pm, High Camp IV, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Hi Phil again, and I guess I should take the time to thank Matt Lepisto who is the person responsible for taking all these ramblings and getting them up online so people can see them and find out where we've been and where we are going. But back to 20,000 feet: Another part of climbing is that you're often trying to have discussions with people, but it's very difficult because you just sort of stare at them and you can tell they're talking to you, but you don't really understand what they're saying and it sounds like your own sentences come out as if they're in a kind of Latin syntax. You don't want to eat, you don't have any appetite, even though we were told that it's really a 6,000 calorie day, but then finally you get there you get to the summit. And it's such a long day, and then all of a sudden, everything is there, every thought, every emotion, it all comes together and then it recedes and it's just the moment. And, that's everything, you know, that's what's significant about it I think. Nothing else is needed, It's every step that it took to get there, and me personally I was just thinking of many many things and weeping and carrying on and such but that's it you know: it's the moment. And then it's time to go down. Quickly. And afterwards you feel like you woke up from some epic dream and you're not sure if it was real or not, but you know it's forever, you know it's yours. I don't know if that makes sense or if that gives anyone an idea, but I still am at altitude so maybe that has something to do with it, but it was truly phenomenal. Thank you and we're on our way home maybe tomorrow or maybe the next day, we'll see on the weather in progress, but we will certainly keep you all updated. Thanks, bye.
June 9, 2001 12:34pm, High Camp, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Hi, this is Phil Zabriske calling from the Survivor Fund Team, a little out of breath at 17,000 feet. I just want to follow up on Wally's news that we did indeed make it to the summit. It was a pretty thrilling day it started off really miserably: cold and windy and sort of crowded on the trails, and the first couple of hours were not much fun at all, but by keeping through we got to above Denali Pass and some still weather. The wind died down, and on to the Football Field and Pig Hill and the summit ridge and all of a sudden we were there, and it was awesome and amazing and any other words that I might be able to come up with at lower altitude. Mainly, I think it was a celebration of the efforts that this group of eight people has put in of the spirit of the torture survivors back in New York. And we were all carrying things from them and from the program and any number of things that any of the individuals here brought from the program.
We are going to start our descent now in a little while. I'm looking at the ridge that we're going to head down to camp at 14,000 stay there overnight and then head back down over the next one or two days after that and then we'll be on our way home. Thanks again for checking in and we're just exhausted and thrilled and still in a kind of dreamlike state, and hopefully we'll see you all soon, take care bye.
June 9, 2001 12:01am, High Camp, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg: Well it's midnight in Alaska and I should report to you that the entire team has descended to our 17,200 foot camp safely. Tired, the good kind of tired that comes from hours and hours of exertion and working hard for a goal. A very satisfied team sitting around in our cook tarp right now. I'm standing out on a rock to give you this dispatch. I'd like you to know that we returned safely and I also should describe that the Alaska sky is just absolutely beautiful this evening, the sun is low of course, still up, but low on the horizon and a beautiful alpenglow is lighting Foraker, Hunter, and of course Denali. I'm looking right up at a golden Denali in the twilight hour with that same still sky that we had up there with no wind a few hours ago. So a very satisfied Survivor Fund Team to go to sleep for an indeterminate time now. This is Wally Berg reporting to you from 17.2.
June 8, 2001 7:59pm, Summit of Denali, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Hi it's Wally Berg calling you at about eight in the evening, and I am very happy to report complete success! All seven if us, the entire group of the Survivor's Fund Team that set out from high camp today are standing on the summit of Denali! And it's a magnificent feeling although believe me we feel the immediate and real presence of big mountain forces right now. As John looked to me just a few minutes ago and said "I need to go down."
We were, as I mentioned this morning, humble and confident, as we climbed these beautiful ridges. I'll describe our climbing day to you briefly: we went up in the cold darkness traveling on running belays to Denali Pass at 18,000 feet, (I shouldn't say darkness, I just mean the sun wasn't on us), then we began traversing the West Buttress and for the last hour and a half or so we've traversed the spectacular knife-edge ridge that leads up to the very summit of Denali, roped together.
The scenery has been stunning, the sense of accomplishment has been real and deep with every member, the camaraderie and the teamwork has been really profound. We got up here together, we relied on one another, and now we are on the top of North America with complete success. Our trip home is going to involve more teamwork, more effort, more humility, and patience, and paying attention to the mountain and pushing hard and that's what we'll undertake to do soon. But first we're going to spend a few minutes savoring this early evening brilliant light from the top of Denali.
June 8, 2001 10:11am, High Camp, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg: "Reporting in on the morning of June 8th and this is it this is finally, our day, we are are going to try for the summit today. This is what it's all about. I'm looking out across a beautiful clear sky, the Alaska Range is just magnificent today. We have some wind, but all in all, looks like it's definitely a good summit day so here we go. This is the payoff for weeks and months of planning and preparation. I'm thinking about Steve, who got to Alaska at least a month ago now, took a twelve-day mountaineering course, rested a couple of days and then came up here on the West Buttress with us. And then the entire original Survivor's Fund team that came up with this dream, (I believe it began with John) and worked and planned and trained for months. And here we go. This is going to be our summit day.
I saw Ellen a few moments ago bundled up in her down jacket and down pants, her green ball of fluff, her green Michelin Man look, out stretching and loosening up for the climb today, and that picture sort of said it all to me. Here we are in a very harsh, arctic, really demanding environment, but at the same time we live well and take care of our bodies and prepare for the full effort we are going to have to give if we are going to be able get up this mountain today. Denali 'the great one' will get the last word. You always climb on a great mountain like this with a great sense of humility, because the forces around you are far greater than you. We go up there with all the wisdom and strength and compassion for one another, dedication to one another as a team we can muster, for we are watching the great one, we are watching Denali because this spirit is going to call the shots today. If it's our day we are going to have a magnificent time standing on the summit. If it's not we are going to know we have given it our best shot and we're going to come down safely together.
June 7, 2001 10:05am, Talkeetna, Alaska.
Team III, Final Dispatch.
Good Morning cybernauts, this is Vern Tejas with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Expedition for Alpine Ascents. Yesterday started bright and early, clear skies hard snow, we got up at four o'clock, had our breakfast, broke down camp moved from 11,200 feet all the way to the Kahiltna Air Strip. It took us just a mere six hours down there due to the fact that we there were actually sled rides going down Ski Hill and we marched in there and were greeted by Annie, Annie, Annie our favorite Base Camp operator and she got us going on a pair of trips back to Talkeetna in just a mere matter of moments. We were whisked away and back to the hands and hearts of civilization. We spent the afternoon getting showered and shaved and then we headed of to the wonderful Cafe Michelle, where we had fine dining and popped the champagne corks and celebrated all the way around. We are very fortunate to have such a fine group and fine weather. We summited three days ago in clear fantastic skies, we celebrated this and gave a rowdy round of applause to everybody who contributed to our success all the members are doing well and now are on their way home. After Michelle's of course we went off to the bar just to celebrate a little bit more. So soon you'll be seeing your friends and loved ones coming back to you and hopefully they'll be no worse for the wear and tear. Thank you very much for joining us for our expedition. This is Vern Tejas saying goodbye and farewell..
June 7, 2001 9:12am, High Camp, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Okay it's Wally Berg again and I have an update for you at 9:00am on the 7th. The weather is definitely heading in the wrong direction on us now, and we're not going to make a summit attempt today. We were up for a couple, three hours giving it the full benefit of the doubt, getting suiting up, taking hot drinks, watching the weather and it has definitely deteriorated since I last talked to you three hours ago. So we're doing the hang, as I described before the team's in good spirits this is what mountaineering's all about and we'll let you know how our shot goes tomorrow we hope.
June 7, 2001 6:13am, High Camp, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Good morning, Wally Berg with a report to you from the Survivor's Fund Team from 17,200 feet on the West Buttress, it's about 6am on June 7th. As I said, I got up at about 5am this morning actually thinking this would probably be our day. It still may be. I thought it was good, because despite the bad weather last night, I lay in a tent and listened to very still winds last night. Crawled out this morning and thought "no visibility," however, so we're going to take it an hour at a time for the next few hours. We'll certainly have time to go for the summit if this lifts.
We're optimistic based on weather reports. We do get weather reports up here and in fact, as I was standing out at this little prow of rock last evening, I had a pleasant surprise: I heard a familiar voice with a New Hampshire accent on the radio. And that was Annie. Annie ran base camp for the flight services down at the Kahiltna Glacier landing area for years, is well-known to all the climbers of the West Buttress route as well as other routes and certainly well-known to all the guides via radio traffic and the warm welcome off of the big jug of cold juice which she would serve when climbers finally got up Heartbreak Hill at the end of their trip. Annie gave me a report from the National Weather Service that has us encouraged, we always have to rely on our mountaineering instincts first, and weather forecasts all over the world are going to change and are only so reliable,. But we believe that this system is pushing out of here today and we have some days of good weather to follow. So our questions now is, will it push out of here quickly enough today for June 7th to be the Survivor Fund Teams' Denali summit or should we just sit tight and hope that forecast is good, correct, and that we'll have a good shot at next day's. Besides reaching the summit you're always concerned at the back of your mind with getting out for here and certainly teams have reached the summit and returned to the 17,200 foot camp and have been pinned down for a number of days. So the mountain's calling the shots as all great mountains do when climbers attempt them and we're sitting up here taking care of ourselves being patient and waiting our turn.
June 6, 2001 8:47pm, High Camp, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg calling in on June 6th with a report for the Survivor Fund Team I'm calling from 17,200 feet at the top of this Rescue Gully, I described yesterday and I have to say quite a storm set in on us now appears pretty thick, a little bit of blowing snow not really extremely high winds for this camp, like I've seen in the past, but all in all not very good weather. We're still prepared to leave in the morning but we'll just have to wait and see what we're permitted to do. The plan right now is, I will wake up at about 5am take a look at the sky, the situation, and the team will be prepared to roll if it looks marginal or otherwise. We're doing that old mountaineering a game of just waiting for our shot, waiting for conditions, and we certainly will keep you posted.
June 5, 2001 8:53pm, Camp IV, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg calling back at about 9pm on the 5th of June, I wanted to call you back again this evening because I have a very good report. Our carry up to 17,200 went really well. Those packs were brutal and big as I described to you this morning so right now I'm standing at the top of what we call the Rescue Gully. It's a straight drop down to that basin at 14,300 feet that we left this morning, a very spectacular drop I might say. I can't actually see the camp down there because there's layers of clouds but all the same it's a vary airy and spectacular sight here. We had, as always, a real mountaineering day. I remember looking back across my rope team back across the rather exposed ridge, and just seeing Steve look forward at me and just say "what could ever be better than this," the guy was just so happy about being up in an exposed airy situation like that. With competent good team members moving roped across the West Buttress right behind me was Ellen, on this rope who is always very competent and sure of herself as she moves. John was behind her. John had an interesting experience today he was not feeling well at all this morning, but as the day went on he seemed to get stronger and move better the higher we climbed and he was looking great as he moved across the highest part of the West Buttress. Behind of course, was the second roped team which had Matt and Michelle and Phil, and I had the thrilling experience of looking back across the West Buttress and seeing them traverse the ridge as well.
So we had a great mountaineering day. Our plan now is to take a rest day tomorrow, I expect some more unsettled weather so that's probably just as well. And then the day after tomorrow, might be our summit day, so we'll keep you posted about how everyone is feeling here at 17,000 and what our chances are to go for the summit as soon as the day after tomorrow.
June 5, 2001 11:42am, Camp IV, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg here on the morning of June 5th and here we go. The Survivor's Fund Team has these ridiculously big packs loaded up and we're about to start upwards and carry back through the col at 16,200 feet where we were yesterday and on across the West Buttress to high camp at 17.2. We returned after I called yesterday, to camp, to find the place really tidied up and squared away by Sonya in her hours during the day. She had been down here and had hot drinks and cold drinks waiting for us and fixed a great meal for us as she is so good at doing, afterwards. Today it's a little bittersweet because we will be going in two directions. Vern and his team are on the way down, we have been in radio contact with them. Sonya will, as she always does, have cocoa and other goodies waiting for them when they arrive here at 14 today before they proceed on down probably to 11,300 tonight.
And we in the meantime will be up on the West Buttress. I'm looking up there now and hoping it stays as nice as it is at the moment. This if you haven't heard and didn't know, to any mountaineer this traverse across the west buttress is an extremely aesthetic day moving on an exposed and steep ridge on one of the greatest mountains on Earth with fabulous views all around, you're moving across rock and steep ice and snow, varied terrain thrilling to say the least. So even with those big packs we hope to have a lot of fun today and we hope to get moved into 17.2 and begin our final preparations for summit day.
June 4, 2001 10:42pm, Camp IV, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Hi this is Phil Zabriske calling in for the Survivor Fund Team with Matt & Wally, another restless update from 14,00 feet. Wally called in earlier and told everyone about our day and what a tough day. I just had some other thoughts that I wanted to add. You know Alpine Ascents does a lot for us, and they really set things up great for us here. they have a support team, they have tents even set up, and walls built, and things at this camp and it looks like there will be some more support at 17,000 where we heard that Vern Tejas has made the summit and we're waiting to get more details from him.
It's still a big effort climbing this mountain and we have all this gear: these pants, down, fleece, crampons, boots, overboots, gaiters, hats, all kinds of gloves, sunglasses, goggles, and everything and of course that helps. But I think that what today really brought to mind was that there's a lot of intangibles that each person carries with them that mean just as much if not more than anything they actually wear on their body. In just asking around talking to people, Steve said that his focus has changed because of some recent events and it's not so much the getting to the top of the mountain anymore that's most important to him, but the kind of honoring the presence and the kinship of people back home. Matt said when it gets tough he concentrates on his breath, kind of like a meditative state. Wally said he just tries to focus on what needs to be done, on proper technique. Michelle says she likes to step outside herself and act as her own coach, push herself and prod herself and remember other times when she didn't think she could make it through something. John sometimes counts steps or just says "deal with yourself" and then thinks of al the harder things that other people are doing. Ellen repeats mantras to herself, tells herself that she can do it, reminds herself of what she has done before and just lets herself sink into the beauty of the view.
Personally today, I thought a lot about the luck of being here, and this opportunity, and tried also like Ellen, to just sort of sink into the moment. Also I think about my friends, about my family, my parents and my sister and two people in particular that I wanted to mention: one is my dear late friend Scott Roach, who's spirit of joy is just kind of always around and readily available to anyone who knew him, which is a huge aspect here. And the other is my Aunt Lita. She's one of the most courageous people I know and I thought about her a lot today when we we're climbing these steep trails. She's an incredibly courageous person and really her whole family is incredibly courageous and just being able to take in each step.
And people will bring back pictures, and people can see all these things we are wearing, all these gadgets and devices we have, and certainly we get all the help from Alpine Ascents, and Wally and Matt are doing a fantastic job of getting us up this mountain. But it's something to consider that there's a whole lot more going on that doesn't show up in pictures, that's just as important as taking each next step. So that's all for today. We have a move planned for tomorrow up to 17, high camp, and it really is kind of a new era on this little trip and we hopefully will have more news soon. Take care bye.
June 4, 2001 7:19pm, Summit of Denali, Alaska. Team III
Hello cybersurfers this is Vernon Tejas with Alpine Ascents' Snow White and the Seven Dwarves expedition, here atop of North America!! And here we are, boy it was worth the wait! The clouds have now disappeared, the wind has dropped, and we are looking out over God's creation and it is a good thing, it's beautiful, and it's vast and we're diggin' it. Everybody's in good health and everybody is standing on the summit right now!! And from Snow White here she is:
"Hi to Brad and hi to everyone else. We're all really excited we made it. We were supposed to have horrible weather for a week and not make it and they were wrong: we had windless days and a blue sky day, and all six of us made it to the the summit and we have the most pristine beautiful views you can imagine. I'm going to turn you over to one of the dwarfs..."
"Hey I'm probably the least listened to of all the dwarfs, this is Michael Davis. We're at the top of Denali, it's pretty cool, it's just really really beautiful up here and for me this is a true high five. See you all when we get back here comes Paul..."
"Hey it's great! We're on top of North America! Thank you Vern, thank you Dave thank you God! Hey Kathy, Paul Henry, everybody, see you back soon, bye."
Vern: That's all from the top of North America, we're out of batteries for the moment, but we'll all report in when we get back down safely.
June 4, 2001 6:19pm, Camp IV, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
It's Wally Berg reporting in to you from 16,200 feet. Awesome day up here, we're really high right now. Both Steve and Phil commented to me as they climbed the last section of the fixed lines and came into this little notch or col up here, very narrow little saddle, "Boy what could be more fun?" were the comments I heard from these guys. We had unsettled weather today; cloud layers in every direction above and below us.
I checked to see if my normal 8:05am scheduled radio check with Vern Tejas, and he wasn't on the radio, and that made me think Vern and his group probably went for the summit today. I haven't yet been able to confirm that, but we wish them the best luck if they are indeed climbing, and we hope they had as good of a day as we did carrying up here to the Col. This was their big day perhaps, it's still our preparedness for the big day, but we all feel like we're climbing now which is great. As we started out this morning, Sonya who for a number of days on the trek had been wondering if she really had the physical stamina along with everything else it takes, mentally and everything, to do the climbing part of this trip, carry the heavy loads, actually decided about an hour out of camp today that she didn't feel that she was up to this climb. So Matt and Michelle returned back to 14 with Sonya; the sisters went back down together and now Sonya is down there with friends of ours, just hanging out waiting for us. We're all still a team, but she determined that climbing on the upper part of the mountain is really not what she has going this year. These are always hard decisions balanced between personal desires and goals and obligation to the team and everything else but this group has been through a lot together we talked about it a bit below where the fixed lines start the decision was made and we acted on it, now we are all where we belong. Phil, Steve, Michelle, Ellen, John, myself and Matt are all up here feeling good about continuing; our team member Sonya is down below; we'll all be together tonight and we'll determine how Sonya gets off the moutnain here in the next few days. But good report all around from the Survivor Fund Team and we'll keep you posted tomorrow about our chances to continue up toward the summit.
June 3, 2001 10:54pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team III
Good Evening cybernauts this is Vernon Tejas with Alpine Ascents' Snow White and the Seven Dwarves expedition. Here we are hanging at 17.2, another day filled with wind and anxiety. Three of us dropped down and picked up a little more food and fuel from our cache at 16,200 feet and we are now in position, we are now acclimatized, we now have food an fuel to last a couple more days, and yet the weather has not cooperated. It's starting to wear on us, anxiety is running high amongst the crowd, we certainly would like to climb this thing soon, so please, please give us all the prayers in the world for the best weather tomorrow and we'll try to give it our best shot. Thank you ever so much. This is Vern, at 17.2 saying good night and sweet dreams.
June 3, 2001 2:47pm, Camp IV, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Hi, this is Phil Zabriske calling in from the Survivor Fund Team with Wally and Matt at the helm. Today has actually turned out to be another rest day, it wasn't planned that way, we thought we were going to do a carry, but we are learning moment by moment how much we are the mercy of the weather and up top right now its blowing really hard and we are in a position where we have to wait for a positive forecast or kind of opening or good news from the team up at high camp led by Vern Tejas. So we wait. We get more time to get used to the altitude prepare for the possibility that we might actually be here a few days and that when we do get to high camp, we might have to stay there for a few days.
So we try to grow accustomed to the limits of our planning, to the way in which the mountain and its own weather system, circumscribes our ambitions and we ready our and really try to understand our powerlessness in the face of the force of the moutnain. Steve spoke to his wife and returned wondering how he got so lucky and now he's taking a nap. Ellen and Michelle took a tour of the campground and met some new folks. Wally and Matt have been resting and breathing. Sonya has been enjoying the heated interior of her tent. We've been hanging sleeping bags up to dry and warm in the sun and we glance upward occasionally and see what exactly is going on up on the summit ridge and basically wait for permission. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that John actually cooked a meal for breakfast. That's really all for now I'll call back later and you all take care, bye.
June 2, 2001 10:42pm, Talkeetna, Alaska. Team II, STP
Allen Carbert: Hey friends family and followers of Alpine Ascents International's Denali expedition #2, yes the Silver Tabasco Poodles have landed safely back in civilization. We're all in good health and we are all in good spirits. What I'm going to do now is pass the phone around and let some of the expedition members say a few parting words, and that's it, stay tuned for next time.
"Hi this is Flint, yeah after the summit we had a couple of grueling days of coming on down, but we are back in Talkeetna and I'm trying to get over this reverse altitude sickness. But I had a fantastic time and I highly recommend it to anyone else and I want to personally thank both of the guides, Pat and Allen, for the trip so take care everybody."
"Hi this is Jeff, we're back in Talkeetna, we've hydrated with a lot of beer and we've replenished our calories with some greasy food so things are getting back to normal. Outstanding trip, I highly recommend it, I look forward to doing it again some other time."
"Hey this is Pete, definitely glad to be back at close to sea level. Almost as good as summiting is actually getting back to the green, warm world. Thanks for listening to these cybercasts, I had a great time a lot of fun and I'm not shaving until I get back see you later."
"Hi this is Nick, good to be back at sea level we were able to tuck into a fresh Gorp bag when we got back and drink enough beer to simulate the effects of hypoxia. Hope everyone enjoyed following the trip, we had fun on the trip definitely, and we hope to be on another one soon."
Allen: Alright folks, ththththat's all!
June 2, 2001 9:33pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team III
Good evening cybernauts, this is Vernon Tejas with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. We're pinned at 17,2 high on the flanks of Mt. McKinley. The winds have been raging all day 40, 50 mph we've only been able to walk out to take care of particular things and rebuild our walls. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will stabilize and the winds will drop and we will climb up to the top of North America, so keep your fingers crossed for us. Here's Snow White:
"Just wanted to say hi to Brad and Kim and Susan for watching. We have to wait out a weather system but I'll be home soon."
"Hi this is Paul, I just wanted to say hi to Kathy and Paul Henry i miss you terribly and I'll see you soon."
"Hello this is Steve just saying hello and all my love to Melissa, mom and dad, Victoria and Andrea I suspect you are sleeping better than we are." (Transmission ends)
June 2, 2001 5:24pm, Camp IV, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Hi this is Phil Zabriske calling in from Time Asia. I'm calling from the Survivor Fund team led by Wally Berg and Matt Szundy we're here at Advanced Base Camp just above 14,000. I think Wally already called in. We got here yesterday after a long day, with great luck coming around Windy Corner which was not very windy and then we benefited from an extra extraordinary effort from Ellen, Michelle, Steve, and Wally himself when they went back and spent another few hours on the trail grabbing some stuff that we had cached the day before. The trip yesterday really was a kind of journey through beauty, that was beyond spectacular. These peaks are phenomenal and the first time we had done it for the cache, it was cloudy in the day and we couldn't' see anything. And this time we could see really just about everything and we each now have moments and visuals that we can draw on for the duration, really. I myself looked back at one point and saw John who was behind me on the rope team coming up as if he was emerging from the clouds, pretty amazing.
And now today is a rest day we lucked out again we got another beautiful day. Today is really a process of getting used to the altitude. We went over some of the things that we'll have to do tomorrow once we ascend up the headwall, weather permitting of course. And we're doing some reading and taking naps and also understanding how our bodies are adjusting to this place and the little headaches, and occasional nausea, and if you can hear this now the shortness of breath that comes with being here and that's why we're not moving today.
Sonya was actually saying, that she was thinking of it as: the same time that you are taking this tremendous trip up the mountain you are also going inside yourself inside your own body physiologically, psychologically, in any way. And understanding exactly what it has to offer and how the two, the mountains and yourself can relate together, that they can co-exist. We, Wally Matt and also John, have been involved in really helping us understand what is happening: why we wake up with headaches and that that's natural and that it will go away if we eat and drink properly and breathe properly, but at the same time being aware of the fact that we are at this altitude it's almost irrelevant because the numbers are sort of just signposts, whether its altitude or weather, temperature or distance, you can't get hooked on them, you cant get too attached on thinking just how long it'll take to get somewhere, or what the temperature is, you really just have to be in the moment and ready to react to it, ready to get more layers on or just to keep stepping and keep walking and keep moving and get to camp and then build camp and then set up the tents and be warm and be ready and get some food and go to sleep. You just have to be prepared to get through the next section and then not look too far away.
Where we are standing right now, we can see the summit, I can look up and see that it's pretty windy up there so it's probably good that we are not up there right now, but it's something that is on our minds. But it's a strange goal, it's not quite a goal, the summit is just kind of an entity that exists up there and whether or not we actually get there is not the true measure of success for this trip or for this effort, so we will just continue to do our best as a team and as individuals and move towards it.
This camp is sort of an international affair I think it would be interesting to know that there's a lot of tents and a lot of different climbers here, and you can hear any number of languages from Spanish to Catalonian, Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Japanese, Taiwanese, all here to be in this beautiful place and take on this great challenge. Our own group is two people who now live in Hong Kong, three who live in New York, along with one who lives in Nashville, along with our guides both of whom are sort of itinerant, always on the move to another place. We made a habit of thanking the mountain, trying to sort of talk to the mountain and pray to the mountain and give offerings every morning because she has so far, been very good to us and very kind in terms of weather and we are praying that that will continue. Denali, as probably a lot of people know, means "The Great One" in the native language which is also sort of funny because that's what Wally wants us to call him every morning.
Tomorrow we will do the same: we'll ask for another good day ,another day of safe passage. We'll head up the headwall, cache some stuff and then we come back down and for now it's really a time to read, I think I'll take a nap and eat and drink, give my own little offerings to this wonderful monolith and hold those in the small plastic bowl that my father gave me a while ago, which has made this trip with me. Ellen made a point that I'd like to pass along which is that it's sort of remarkable to think that this kind of beauty co-exists in the same world with the kind of horror and cruelty where people do get tortured and punished beyond any reasonable limits for whatever reason. I guess in a way it's probably understandable you might need one to understand the other or to appreciate the other and that's a lot of what being associated with the survivor fund and the Bellevue/NYU program for survivor's of torture has done for us in general and on this climb in particular. Finally, I'd just like to say congratulations to Colin and KJ all the best to you from all of us. Shoshana, John wanted me to say that he misses you and is thinking of you and everyone else we're thinking of you too and we will see you soon, take care, bye.
June 2, 2001 9:40am, Camp IV, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg: Good morning from 14,000 feet on June 2nd. I'm calling in after a very successful carry up here yesterday. the entire group arrived here at the 14,000 foot camp about 9 in the evening. We were very warmly and enthusiastically greeted by Todd Burleson and Ruth. then four of us, myself, Michelle, Ellen and Steve carried back down to where we left that cache the day before yesterday at 13,800 feet, picked up the rest of our gear brought it back, got back up here about 11 o'clock. The rest of the group is sleeping in this morning, a well-deserved sleep. It's still very cold now at 14,000 feet with the sun gone behind Denali, but we had a beautiful evening last night there was a big three quarter moon hanging in the Alaskan sky. Of course it doesn't get very dark here, but the peaks were lit up with the sun as it got slightly low on the horizon, just a beautiful setting all in all.
this group's doing great, we are now at significant altitude a few days ago John our inspiration, organizer of this trip, guy that got it off the ground and our third year med student spent some time reading up on the physiology of altitude before he came here. Gave probably the best talk on the partial pressure of oxygen and how it's used by the body as we ascend up through the atmosphere that I've heard in a long time. We all benefited from that. John sat there and gave us this little talk with the black bean soup dried on his pile pants which had he had spilled not long before, but he's decided his inability to handle his bowl of black bean soup in a cook cup. He's a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for this whole group.
As I stand here this morning I want to mention again someone who has been on my mind a lot and that's Brad Washburn, we're on his route as you know from my previous dispatch, fifty years ago he climbed this route. If Brad reads this, and I think he might, I talked to him on the phone just before he left and he gave this group in particular his best wishes for this climb. He's probably rolling his eyes at my comment the other day that people have been referring to his marvelous photographs of the Alaskan Range and planning climbs from them for four or five decades. As is often the case with Brad Washburn, understatement almost comes naturally or very easy because the man has done so much in his life over such a long period of time. In fact we are into the seventh decade that people have been referring to those Washburn photographs.
June 1, 2001 10:32pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team III
Hello cybernauts this is Vernon Tejas with Alpine Ascents' Snow White and the Seven Dwarves expedition high on the flanks of Mt. McKinley. Denali shows her evil side tonight. We are poised ready to go for the summit yet the wind is howling right now the tent is flapping in the background and we're figuring its probably 40 to 50 mph. We're pinned down, we can't go up we can't go down but fortunately we have enough food and fuel to last for several days. Today Dave, Todd, and Steve dropped down to our cache at 16,200feet and picked up enough food that we can sit out a couple of days of storm. So we're holding tight biding our time and hoping that the weather cooperates and tomorrow we'll go for it. That's all for now high on Denali, this is Vernon Tejas signing out.
May 31, 2001 10:47pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team III
Hello all you cyber-surfers out there, this is Vernon Tejas with Alpine Ascents' Snow White and the Seven Dwarves expedition on Mt. McKinley. Today we moved up from 14,000 feet all the way up to 17,000 feet were now at our high camp, and we're in position to go for summit. And during the day, we strained ourselves quite a bit, so tomorrow's going to be our rest day. We're just going to drop down and pick up some food and some supplies that we left down at 16,000 feet and just kind of let our bodies acclimatize, so that when we're due for the summit, we can give it all we got. Everyone seems to be a little bit tired: we were eight hours on the trail today and we also spent two hours breaking camp and putting camp up on each side of that so a good long 12-hour day at altitude. But I'm hoping that they're all going to spring back tomorrow and we'll get ready for the big push for the summit. So keep your fingers crossed gang and we'll talk to you tomorrow bye bye.
May 31, 2001 9:12pm, Camp III, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg here on the 31st of May with the daily dispatch for Time Interactive and Alpine Ascents from the Survivor's Fund Team. Today was our big carry around Windy Corner. This is a rather infamous spot on Denali, known obviously for its high winds. Today we loaded our packs up and we didn't carry our sleds, didn't pull our sleds behind as normal because when you traverse around windy corner its quite icy and steep and a very exposed spot and as you already know it's usually pretty windy.
We carried up through broken clouds today, but we were pleased to see as we got closer to 13,000 feet there, in fact that it was one of those rare days that Windy Corner was not windy. it was cloudy but quite warm as we went around a corner and we made our cache at 13,800 feet.
Today I was thinking very much about Brad Washburn as we carried around Windy Corner. He named Windy Corner on his first ascent of the West Buttress Route that we're doing, which incidentally took place 50 years ago this year, fifty years ago next month actually. Brad has, through his catalog of aerial photographs that he's had of Denali for decades now four or five decades at least, he's inspired and informed literally scores of climbers about their objectives in the Alaska range and this is how he chose the West Buttress back in 1951. The Muldrow Glacier on the north side was already the sort of standard route on Denali. Brad knew from his knowledge of the mountain based on his flights and his photographs that this West Buttress Route that we're on would probably be a very good route. Fifty years ago he showed us that. Now as you probably know there is more than a thousand people a year who attempt this route.
Today it felt like all thousand of us were up here at once as we went around Windy Corner. There were quite a few people pulling sleds and carrying loads around Windy Corner. Our group did very well with good loads were back at 11,300 feet right now, and tomorrow with luck we'll be moving up to 14,000, which is basically our Advanced Base Camp for the upper part of the mountain. Now the approach is winding down, wish us luck tonight with the weather. I hope it doesn't snow a lot and we hope to be calling you tomorrow from 14,200 feet our advanced Base Camp on Denali.
May 31, 2001 6:40pm, Summit of Denali, Alaska. Team II
Hey folks, this is Allen working with Pat Timson. The Silver Tabasco Poodles have summitted! We're on top of Denali and I want to pass the phone around and give everybody an opportunity to dedicate this climb to someone they love and care about, here we go:
"Hello Janet my lovely wife I'm sitting here on the top of Denali here. Yeah, looks great, a little cloudy but I feel quite good. So maybe in a couple days I'll do it again. Also, hello to mom and dad and all my friends and family. It sure feels good to be on top of North America anyway. Take care everybody."
"This is Jeff Bisgrove I dedicate this climb to Cindy, Benjamin, and Daniel. I'm happy to be up here, it,s a great group of guys and lots of wonderful views."
"Hi it's Nick with a message from the top of North America to Ron, Bob, Sally, Brenda(?) Ladelle(?) friends, colleagues, happy to be here. And hi to Brad and Chip, sorry you guys couldn't be here."
"Hey everyone, this is Peter Denk, I want to dedicate this climb to my parents Peter and Alvira Denk, and I want to thank you for all your love and help getting me through medical school. Allright back to the man..."
Allen: Pat's busy but I know he wants to say hi to Barbara and Miriam. Hey folks we're counting on a safe descent down, we'll give you all a call you tomorrow, take care.
May 31, 2001 4:29pm, Archdeacon's Tower, Alaska. Team II
Hey folks this is Allen Carbert with Pat Timson and the Silver Tabasco Poodles. Pete, Jeff, Nick, and Flint are all doing well. We're at Archdeacon's Tower right now looking down at the football field, the summit's in sight and we expect to be on top within the next two hours if all keeps going well. We'll give you a call from up there, stay tuned.
May 30, 2001 9:26pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team III
Hello cybernauts this is Vern Tejas with Alpine Ascents and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Today we moved our food and fuel up to 16,000 feet in crystal clear skies where you can see for many many a mile. Everybody did well, and we ended up having the biggest cache ever built at 16,000 feet, it was a delight. And to tell you more about his day, here's Todd:
"Hey this is Todd Kelly, just want to say hi to everybody in Benicia, down in Monterrey and up in Truckee. Everything's going good, we're moving up to the high camp tomorrow and we're looking at a summit shot, if the weather cooperates, by the weekend. Anyway feeling good take care."
Vern: "We're getting high now, and soon we'll be in position to go for the summit. Just help pray for good weather. And here's Snow White to tell you what her day was like:
Monique: "Oh, it was a great carry and a great day. We have warm weather and no winds and everyone's really excited, we have two more hard days left: The move to 17 and the summit day. So all strong healthy and excited, and thanks to Friends and family for watching."
This is Vern Tejas at Camp IV 14,200 feet above sea level, signing off good night and god bless.
May 30, 2001 7:32pm, Camp III, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg here on May 30th saying hello to Time Interactive and Alpine Ascents, from our Camp III at 11,300 feet. I think I misspoke in yesterday's dispatch and referred to this as Camp II, but actually of course this is our Camp III as we work our way up the mountain. Today's activity was basically building a good camp here. I'll try to describe that: up here on the glacier we use the material we have, which is a lot of snow and ice of course. We cut blocks, we stomp out platforms with our snowshoes and our boots, and we dig into the snow where necessary and we secure our tents first of all with big walls to block the wind and drifting snow should it occur as it frequently does up here, and I think strong winds at times.
And then we dig a cozy little place we refer to as the Posh House: it's a pyramid shaped tent or fly that goes over a hole in the snow and of course we know just how we want this thing done with a pole support in the middle which also serves as a support for the pole and benches around where everybody can sit comfortably with foam pads. (transmission ends)
May 30, 2001 5:14pm, High Camp, Alaska. Team II
Hey folks this is Allen Carbert working with Pat Timson leading the Silver Tabasco Poodles to the summit of Denali. Well today was supposed to be summit day but high winds and extremely cold temperatures have kept us in our tents. Everybody's doing real well, we're reading books, playing cards and eating all sorts of good food. The expedition members would like to send a special hello to friends and family. Jeff says hello to his sons Benjamin and Daniel. Pat says hello to his wife Barbara and his daughter Miriam. Brent would like to say hello to Jen and is really concerned that his tomatoes are doing well, Pete and Nick well let's just say that they don't have a lot to say right now, they are both sleeping, so I'm sure that they wish their friends and families well also.
Today we've probably got ambient air temperatures of minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit; that would be a high. We've got about 25-30mph winds, I'll let you all do the math there, it just means that it's darn cold. We're going to sit tight and hope for better weather. We'll keep you posted on our progress, that's all for now this is Allen Carbert at 17,000 feet on Denali saying goodbye, and I wish you all well.
May 30, 2001 10:08am, Talkeetna, Alaska.
Team I, "Team Roadkill" Final dispatch.
This is Dave Morton from Team Roadkill with the last addition to our cybercast. In the end Peggy Foster and I spent eight days at high camp waiting for a window of good weather to summit. Unfortunately, it didn't go our way. We descended from 17k camp to the 14k camp and had a great night with the whole crew. Todd, Lhakpa, Ruth and both the second and third expedition were at 14k. It's an Alpine Ascents compound up there. Ruth treated us to Whisperlite-made pizza which was a real treat. We then returned to Base Camp the following day and flew back to Talkeetna yesterday, May 29th. When Peggy and I left 17k camp on Sunday there were only 7 people remaining at high camp and we hope they had a chance to summit after we left. We broke camp in severe conditions consisting of 40-50 mph winds and temperatures around -30F. Peggy was as strong as anyone could be in those conditions and we had a great time waiting and hoping the mountain would give us a chance. Thanks to everyone who was cheering us on and Peggy passes along a big smiling hi to friends and family.
May 29, 2001 10:34pm, Camp III, Alaska. Team III
Hello cybersurfers! This is Vern Tejas with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Expedition. We're presently camped at 14,200 feet above sea level with a beautiful vista of Mt. Hunter and Mt Foraker to the South. The weather has been clear and calm and we're hoping to move up our food and fuel tomorrow, high on the ridge of the west buttress at 16,200 feet. Today we spent a lot of our time just lazing about and building red blood cells. To pass the time we took a little trip over to the edge of the world, which is the edge of the plateau here, and we can look off and see a tremendous vista over a mile and a half drop down to the lower glacier, it was fabulous.
When we came back, we practiced our rope work so we can ultimately be very efficient and smooth once we get through the fixed lines up at 15,000 feet. Everybody seems to be in very good spirits and their health is very good as well. And we're hoping that its going to stay that way and the weather will continue to cooperate and very soon we will stand on the very top of North America. So that's all for now this is Vernon Tejas signing off from 14,000 feet. Bye Bye.
Dave Bangert: "Thank you guys, goodbye."
May 29, 2001 8:09pm, Camp II, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg: Hi, just thought I should call you back and give you a quick update: That big bad super carry or field carry that I talked about earlier was a huge success. We're now at 11,300 feet. We got here at about five this afternoon, beautiful day, a lot of effort on everyone's part: those load are really monsters and I noticed several other climbers commented on the size of our loads. But we rolled in here and we're right where we want to be as I mentioned earlier in terms of acclimatization.
We were treated to beautiful views as we approached 11,000 feet: you can turn back and look across the ridges could see out across the Tundra out across the flats of Alaska, and now sitting here at 11,000 feet, I see, I'm looking out across a ceiling of clouds below us which is really beautiful. Still clear weather above, Todd's group had a good successful carry today and once again we're really pleased to be someplace where the acclimatization is going to really count for our move up higher.
May 29, 2001 5:11pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team II (STP)
Hey folks, this Allen Carbert with Alpine Ascents Denali Expedition #2, otherwise known as the Silver Tabasco Poodles. I'm calling you from 17,200 feet on Denali, this is going to be our high camp from which we'll make our summit attempt tomorrow morning. The team is in excellent shape and good health, everybody's acclimatized really well. I guess the only thing that could be said is they might be a little underfed, but I'm sure that the friends and family back in the states will help out with that when they all return.
We plan on departing for the summit tomorrow morning about nine-thirty or ten AM. We have an optimistic weather forecast: temperatures have been on the cool side as you would expect on a big mountain like this; probably nighttime temperatures close to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit with daytime highs reaching a balmy minus ten degrees Fahrenheit. However when the sun's on us, the radiant temperature seems much warmer; we can still run around in light clothing--the sun is quite intense as its reflected off of the snowpack. We expect that our summit attempt will probably take close to 10 maybe 12 hours: a good portion of our effort will be expended heading up Denali Pass, we're going to place some pickets to keep everybody safe and sound, the snowpack is very stable right now and it looks like we're going to have a good safe climb tomorrow providing that the weather forecast holds true.
No personal messages at this time, most of the fellas are crashed out in the tent right now: sleeping, eating, reading books, just generally relaxing. But from the summit tomorrow, if all goes well, I'll pass around the cell phone and you guys can actually hear what it's all about at 20,300 feet: maybe some lightheadedness maybe some people gasping for air in general. Gee, that's about all I have to say right now.
We'll be giving you a call tomorrow, that's what we call "Game Day," and its only about fifteen hours away, So I'm going to head back to the tent, feed the guys some hearty food, we're going to have some rice and some beef stroganoff tonight, should be a good dinner and give us enough fuel to make it up to the summit. So for now this is Allen Carbert working with Pat Timson, signing off. And stay tuned for tomorrow's summit climb update, take care everybody, bye bye.
May 28, 2001 6:25pm, Camp II, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Hi, this is Phil calling, just following up Wally's call with Team IV, we're just setting up camp. You can count me as one of eight people who are just thrilled to be here and have this opportunity to be in this space. For the Moms and Dads and wives and everyone else, we are doing just fine so far. I'd like to try to describe what I'm looking at here: I'm standing on the upslope of a glacier that runs for miles and is bordered on all sides by various mountains and domes and buttresses that are all striped in a desert of white, just endless snow broken by occasional rock faces and crevasses and ice falls that give it kind of a bluish satiny appearance. It's just stunning, so huge and vast, and it's humbling definitely.
Wally mentioned the weather, it's still now, it's actually quite hot, the sky opened up and it's totally blue and the sun is just coming down and it feels fantastic after waking up with wind freezing our fingers and toes. But as still as it may be right now, it's definitely not static and to think that would be a sort of a mistake, as the mountain seems to be and all these mountains seem to be, like living beings, thankfully now in a pleasant mood. But that could and most certainly will, change sometime soon. Movement has not been bad, everyone's in pretty good shape and carrying the packs has been a good challenge, but nothing no one can handle. A lot of it is totally alone because you are on this rope team and you really don't talk to the person twenty meters in front of you, I don't think you can hear them because of the wind, and you're left alone with your thoughts and any number of things that get you through the day or get you through the tired legs, whatever it might be. And everyone seems to be getting to the point where they understand that if they are tired soon they'll be at a point where they can rest if they're cold; where they'll be warm, lying in 40 below rated bags that actually make you sweat, and eating food, which is quite good, and there seems to be a climbing adage that there is no short term memory. But the little things are really kind of almost more dramatic and they do have to nail those down to really get from one place to another: keep your water from getting frozen; drying your socks in your sleeping bag; making sure you are eating and drinking constantly; layering properly; fixing good camps, as we are trying to do now; and just stay safe because it is a place where you can get sunburn and frostbite in the same day.
We do feel good, we have a terrific group of people who've come together and some have little nicks and bruises or what not, or sore backs or necks or whatnot but we're pretty confident that we will make it through. We've got some great guides with great experience and Matt & Wally are doing a terrific job of lending us their experience and telling some pretty good stories in the process. So far we've had some rough weather, some wind and some snow, and some cold, but it's really just a hint of what's to come. But otherwise, other than Ellen's unfortunate pee funnel incident and my personal odor, which Neil McCarthy, our old instructor, would call "Manky," we feel real good and definitely better for being able to draw off, to draw inspiration from, the survivors back in New York at the Bellevue/NYU Program for the Survivors of Torture. They're the reason we're here. People from all over the world whose gifts we are carrying, and whose spirit we are really feeding off of now, and up on the mountain, and that feels great. It's really sort of an extra tank of gas you know, for tough moments so we wish them well. Thank you all for checking in. There will definitely be more later. Happy Birthday to Katy and all the best to everyone else. Thanks, bye.
May 28, 2001 6:17pm, Camp II, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Okay on the 28th I'm calling you from 9,800 feet and we had the reverse today of the weather I described on that classic Alaskan glacier travel day yesterday. We started out in a strong cold north wind, pretty unsettled looking sky, but as we climbed up here the weather changed dramatically and right now I'm watching the final touches on camp that is being established here in brilliant sunlight, very hot reflective sun off the brilliant white walls around us and it's been very pleasant.
One of the notable things about our camp as we move up this mountain is the prayer flags. I fortunately remembered to bring a few back from Nepal with me, we had some others that the Survivor's Fund team brought along from participants in their program and these things adorn all of our tents. It is Michelle that always remembers where the prayer flags are as the camp's going up, and the important part of the scene at our camp: it's a pretty fitting and also photogenic backdrop with these mountains behind to see those colorful prayer flags strung from our cooking tarp.
This team's doing great, still spirits are high, we know we have a huge mountain in front of us but our goals are in place and our skills are improving and I'm confident that as the time goes on we're going to to do really well here.
Today I'm pleased to know that by what we had arranged before we should be going live on these cybercasts with Time Asia, and Phil's sitting right here with me and I think it's going to be more interesting for you to hear from him rather than just more jabber from the guide. So I'm going to close for now, the team once again is doing great, spirits are high, and Phil's going to take it from here.
May 28, 2001 2:47pm, Camp III, Alaska. Team III
Hello out there in cyberland this is Vernon Tejas with Alpine Ascents trip #3 also known as Snow White and The Seven Dwarves. We are now at 13,500 feet picking up our cache of food and fuel which we will soon take up to our Camp IV and the 16,200 foot level. Its a beautiful clear day you can see from here all the way to Russia. (If you look real hard) Everybody seems to be doing very well, but certainly we can feel the altitude, but with several days rest at 16,200 feet, Camp IV, we should be doing quite well staying on schedule and things should go as planned. And here we have...let's see this would be Dopey or is this Grumpy? would like to say a message:
"Hello this is Grumpy also know as Bragg, and sending along all my love to Mom and Dad and Melissa, Victoria, everything's going well here, everyone's in good shape and I'm passing along to another member..."
"Yes this is Stinky also know as Paul Lego, I don't know how I earned that nickname but uh...(laughter in background) Hi Kathy, Hi Paul Henry, Hi everyone at Virage, everything's going great, see you soon and I'm passing it on right now to another dwarf..."
"I don't have any voice right now at 13,000, this is Michael Davis, everything is cool. bye"
"Yeah this is Cheezy also know Tom Porro I just want to say I'm staying out of trouble and I miss you all, I'm passing it on..."
"Hello this is co-guide Dave Bangert. We're having a good time up here everybody's in good spirits, Shar, don't know, you're probably hiking but if you check into this, love you and wish you the best, I'm passing it on"...(transmission ends)
May 27, 2001 9:00pm, Camp I, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg: I'm calling you now on the evening of the 27th from the East Fork of the Kahiltna. Today was great: we had what I can describe as the classic Alaskan glacier travel day. It started out in brilliant sunshine this morning. We moved, carrying our loads up from camp, stripped down to our light colored clothing, most of us just in tights and very light tops. Big billed caps of course, with bandanas stuck underneath to protect our ears and necks from sun, and we moved in still air and heat up the glacier.
But as we ascended up what we call Ski Hill further up the glacier, the wind picked up from the North and before we got to where we cached at 9,800 feet we were in a pretty good blizzard with snow blowing everywhere, quite cool temperatures and we dug our cache in in pretty brutal conditions.
I was reminded as we looked around as we were digging our cache, of how you feel sometimes on Denali when you can't remember what you pack looks like without being frosted over and you don't see any climbing ropes that aren't totally frozen up and in fact you don't even remember what your companions faces look like without seeing frost all over them.
But in this particular case it didn't last long because we turned around and descended back down to the Northeast fork and actually got back into some sunshine down here. And now I'm looking up at the very summit of Denali, actually 13,000 feet above me here on the Northeast fork and it's in brilliant sunlight here in the early evening and I can't tell you what an awesome sight it is to see that much relief right directly above us in these blues skies.
So a classic Alaskan glacier day, we saw some extremes and the group held up really well through all of this. We're relaxing now, enjoying the good weather hoping for more tomorrow, but also knowing we're prepared for anything that comes along.
May 27, 2001 5:11pm, Camp IV, Alaska. Team II (STP)
Hey folks, this is Allen Carbert working with Pat Timson leading the Silver Tabasco Poodles to the top of Denali. Yesterday, we made a carry to 16,000 feet, put in a nice cache of food and fuel and if the weather holds tomorrow we'll move up camp to 17,000 feet which will put us in position for the summit. I'd like to introduce the following members of the expedition by passing the phone around and giving them an opportunity to send a personal message back home so here we are:
"Hi this is Peter Denk just wanted to say hi to friends and family again, hopefully the pervious message got through. Any Med students: about twelve days to graduation and probably be eleven days by the time this message gets put on the web all right see you later bye."
"This is Chip, hopefully the other message got through. To all my friends and family: it's a beautiful day here at 14,000 feet and it's going to be a pretty nice day tomorrow. And I hope Kelly has a great last week in London and see you on the 6th, bye."
"Hello, this is Flint Pulskamp. I just wanted to say hello to my wife Janet I'm doing fine. Janet I hope you are doing well also and taking care of my tomatoes. Also wanted to say hi to all of my friends and family out there, take care."
"Hi it's Nick. Hello to friends and family. We had a great walk across the edge of the world today beautiful views, I'm feeling healthy and strong and looking forward to moving to 17."
"Hi this is Jeff Bisgrove, I wanted to give my love to Cindy Benjamin and Daniel, say hi to my friends and family everywhere things are going really good here. We're looking forward to moving up tomorrow and hopefully everything's going well in Phoenix, its probably a balmy hundred and five, hundred and ten. bye."
May 26, 2001 8:24pm, Camp I, Alaska.
Team IV "The Climb for Courage"
Hi it's Wally again, later on the 26th. I just had to call you back and tell you how well today went with this carry up to Camp I. That trip that took us ten hours one way, two days ago took us only five hours today, and we are establishing a beautiful camp up here right in the shadow of the west buttress of Denali. I'm looking right up at the entire West Buttress of Denali, as well as the fabled Windy Corner and a lot of beautiful and well-known features on this great mountain, looking across at Mount Hunter as well, really beautiful day.
It was interesting coming up the glacier: I told you the story about picking our way up here the other day. The predominant route that people are using when the visibility is good is way over on the west side of the Kahiltna, the left as you come up, if you've ever seen it over there before. I knew that because I saw it from the air flying with Cleve Macdonald the other day, but Matt and I took the more traditional line and used our compass and our memory of the route to pick our way up here and I'll have to say I was really pleased to see today in the good visibility, the work we had done the day before yesterday
It was a good route even though most people were over on that west side, we stayed on our route the whole way up and enjoyed the fruits of the work that we put in following our wands up here. The group looks great: we're putting a camp in like I said, enjoying the sun and the motivation of beautiful views all around us. We'll report to you sometime tomorrow as we carry up higher.
May 26, 2001 12:09pm, Denali Base Camp, Alaska.
Team IV, "The Climb for Courage"
Okay it's Wally Berg calling you from the Kahiltna Glacier on the 26th. I didn't call in yesterday our rest day after the long carry up to the Northeast Fork. We're still using the iridium phone only and I'm concerned about power, we don't want to run out of power before we get up higher and can use our other telephones.
The team did really well on that long carry as I've already reported. The thing that seemed to be in order yesterday was a rest and recuperation day. Our day really began with a nice hash brown and scrambled egg breakfast which we had at about two thirty in the afternoon. Then we spent the rest of the day just sort of feeling good about ourselves for having done such a long day of exercise, talking about our motivation and purpose on this trip, what the summit meant to us our perspectives on success, various things like that. Then just a little bit later, we started an evening meal and Sonya fixed a fabulous pasta dinner for us and we went to bed early.
It was snowing all day yesterday there were no flights so we're more thankful than ever that we got that flight that we did on the 22nd, but today a couple of flights have made it in. We have some broken clouds about but we were treated to fabulous views of Foraker and the other peaks around here this morning when we got up. The sleds are loaded, we are about to rope up, and start our move up to the Northeast fork. That'll be our first camp really our Camp I above Base Camp as we begin to work our way up the West Buttress.
May 25, 2001 5:51pm, Denali Camp IV, Alaska. Team II (STP)
Hey folks, this is Allen Carbert working with Pat Timson, leading the Silver Tabasco Poodles to the summit of Denali. Today is a relatively uneventful day, being a rest day at the 14,000 foot camp. We're seeing some strong winds and a little bit of snow. At least today Pete, Jeff, Chip Flint, Brad, and Nick all built a big snow wall around the Posh House, just to make sure that our little social arena and dining room are safe from the inclement weather.
The plan is tomorrow that we will make a carry up to 16 thousand feet and place a food cache. We'll ascend the fixed lines and maybe we'll get somewhere towards Washburn's Thumb and actually place our food there. Other than that, pretty slow day. Hope things are going well back there in the lower forty eight and other points in between. Boy god, Pat and I both have a cold. he he he. We'll catch up with you later. Bye bye.
May 25, 2001 12:51pm, Denali Camp IV, Alaska.
Poor Satellite reception today resulted in Todd's phone call being mostly unintelligible, but here's how things are transpiring today:
Most of Team I (Team Roadkill) has decided to descend and not wait out the bad weather. Dave Morton and Peggy have remained at high camp and are prepared to wait until Sunday, if necessary, for a clear weather window. It is cold, but they have plenty of supplies and are feeling fine.
Team II (STP) is still at 14,000, also awaiting a weather window, but everyone is in excellent shape.
Team III is at Camp III and everyone is doing great.
Team IV, the Climb for Courage is remaining at Camp I, while the weather clears.
May 25, 2001 2:15am, Denali Base Camp Alaska.
Group IV, "The Climb for Courage"
Hi it's Wally Berg calling you sometime after 2AM on the 25th I thought I should tell you about the 24th of May, it was a big day for us. First of all you should know in the two days we've been out here there has been absolutely no more flights that afternoon flight we had two days ago was the last flight in here. I lost a bet to both Patrick and Julie, the Alpine Ascents support staff back in Talkeetna. I was so confident that we were not going to fly, that I bet each of them a six-pack of that nice Alaskan microbrew beer. I gladly will pay that when I get back to Talkeetna, because we're happy to be out here.
The weather's still bad but we wanted to carry today. So we took off in marginal visibility, but with the confidence of traveling in rope teams, and used the wands that did exists on that route up the Kahiltna although there weren't many. Matt did a masterful job with compass bearings. We took turns breaking trail through quite deep snow and we managed to get a carry in successfully all the way up to the base of what we call the Ski Hill, where our next camp will be. Then we came back through the deep snow and all in all it was a 14 hour day. So I can report that this group is plenty tough, the first full day was a long one and they've gotten a taste of what this mountain can offer. There's going to be a lot of easier days coming up and I'll just bet there's going to be another one this long and hard to say the least, but a good confidence builder today.
Right now everyone's in the Posh house cook tent and Matt's making some Macaroni and Cheese and we're going to eat a nice dinner and go to bed and listen to it continue to snow here on the Kahiltna Glacier
May 24, 2001 12:51pm, Denali Camp IV, Alaska.
Hi everybody this is Todd at 14,000. I've got Allen and Pat's group (Team II) here and Brian Dave (Team I) are still at 17 waiting for some good weather to go for the summit. Vernon and Dave (Team III) are down moving up to Camp III today I believe. Everybody seems to be in good health. And Wally and Matt (Team IV) I believe are moving to their 8,000 foot camp. I'm going to let everyone here in Allen and Pat's group say a little bit and say hello to their families:
"Hey this is Chip, I just wanted to say thanks for the lightweight(?) Kelly, keep it coming. Momma and Poppa Grove: it's not that cold here don't worry about it, its only 25 below at night and I know you were concerned. Hi Jacob."
Peter: "I would like to say hi and send my love to my parents and my friends Vicki, Heather, Doug, Nathan, and Steve. All right, Bye"
"Hello this is Flint, I'm doing fine. Hello to friends and family. Janet how are you doing? I'm doing fine, no problems. Also, hello to the Alchemists' Club and also hello to the folks at Paxum(?)"
"Hi, this is Jeff Bisgrove. I wanted to give my love to my wife Cindy and my boys, Benjamin and Daniel. Say hi to my folks, and yeah we're managing to stay warm here. Saying hi to all of my friends at Intel, keep working to get the stock up there guys. Talk to you later."
"Hi it's Nick, I'm calling from 14,000 feet I just want to say hi to friends and family and keep on checking the website.
"Hi this is Brad all my best to Sue, and to Mikey and Matt, missing you guys, love you lots, cheers."
Todd: Alright we've still got a strong signal. I guess you got all those messages. We'll give you an update later. The weather today is cloudy up top maybe a little bit of wind. We're getting light snows and a little bit of sunshine. But good moving weather down low. Most people are staying set at 14. Nobody's moving up the fixed lines. The weather's supposed to improve Friday, maybe Saturday Morning, so I think you'll see a lot of action in those couple of days. Still waiting to get our first party up. That's all for now.
May 23, 2001 5:32pm, Denali Base Camp, Alaska.
Group IV, "The Climb for Courage"
Okay it's the afternoon of the 23rd, this is Wally Berg and I'm calling you from the Kahiltna Glacier. As you know we got out of Talkeetna yesterday I have to say that it was very much good luck that we did so: I don't think, well I know there has been no flight since we left yesterday afternoon, we have not had terrible weather since we got out here but certainly not flyable weather. I can't describe what a great feeling it is for a mountaineer, to be in a small aircraft flying up into the Alaska Range out of Talkeetna. Its an awesome experience every time. (transmission ends)
Call #2: So what today has been about up here in this rather marginal weather at the Kahiltna Glacier, is getting our camp established and getting ready to carry loads, reviewing our rope team travel technique and other skills. And as our camp's gone up it's been pretty cool to watch the color that is takes: In particular we've got prayer flags from Tibet, strung over our cooking tent, and this team being for the benefit of the Survivor's Fund has from participants in the Survivor's Fund from Tibetans we have Khata Scarves that we're all carrying with us and from West Africa we have Cowrie Shells. Tokens of good luck, traditional blessings from different cultures for this adventure we've undertaken.
I'm going to close now before I lose satellite coverage again, but know that the entire survivor fund team is well here at Base Camp. Although normally we wouldn't be able to do dispatches till we got to 14,000 feet and hit the cell towers, Steve Roads was wise enough to bring an Iridium phone, so with the limited amount of power we have with Steve's phone, we're going to try to get you daily updates. Great spirits here, we're feeling awed and inspired and quite small in these great mountains, but also confident we'll be successful and ready and prepared to work and strive hard.
May 22, 2001 4:05pm, Talkeetna Airport, Talkeetna, Alaska.
Group IV, "The Climb for Courage"
Wally Berg: Okay here we are, it's the 22nd of May, about 4 in the afternoon. I'm standing out here with Ellen and John an Sonya and Phil, and we're going to be in the Beaver here in a few minutes. The rest of the crew took off about a half hour ago. Julie and Patrick have been out here loading us up and we're underway, we're going to the Kahiltna Glacier. Looks a little broken up there but I don't think we're going to have too much trouble and this flight should be beautiful and this West Buttress Expedition is underway.
I'm looking at some smiles around right now Ellen is wearing an absolutely unacceptable, silly red nose guard, that someone has told her is going to give her absolute protection from the sun. But I've already had a talk with her and others about image and presentation that we have to worry about on this trip. The first big issue is these nose guards, we'll get through that in the next few hours and let you know about other things that come up as this expedition goes on. We got a great feeling, the support from Julie and Patrick and the entire ground crew here in Talkeetna: you might say it's gone great, and we're looking forward to a little short flight...Who's the pilot?...Rico. Rico looks like he knows how to fly this Beaver man.. So we're in business we think we know how to climb this mountain. We'll give you guys a report soon.
May 22, 2001 11:32am, Denali Camp IV, Alaska.
Hi everybody this is Todd at 14,000 its the 22nd of May, and its about 1130 in the morning. Its a pretty day today, the mountain looks good, it looked a little windy this morning.
Brian and Dave's group (Team Roadkill) is at 17, and very well may have just launched for the summit. They had a rest day yesterday up there and everything seems to be fine with them.
Allen and Pat (SPT) are probably going to arrive at 14 today with all of their group, they seem to be healthy, the word's up.
Vernon and Dave (Team III) are moving to 8,000.
Wally and Matt's trip (Team IV, "Climb for Courage") is flying onto the mountain today.
So we've got four expeditions on the mountain. Ruth and I are at 14, as you may know we are doing the patrol which is just simply to help and assist and deal with logistics. Lhakpa went down today with Jeff and Margaret, because they are going to fly out early, they decided they'd bag the summit for a hot hotel and a hot tub somewhere. So they're on their way down to base camp even as we speak and should be there tonight and will possibly fly out even tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. Camp is great, conditions seem to be getting better and better on the mountain and life is good hope everyone's well there and well touch base as soon as we know more, bye, bye
May 21, 2001 2:49pm, Denali Camp IV, Alaska.
Hi everybody this is Todd we're at 14 yesterday we had an amazing carry up to top of Washburn's Thumb with everybody. It was beautiful weather and calm. Some groups summitted yesterday. Team I, Brian and Dave and four of the climbers are up high, and Jeff and Margaret went up high and now they've decided to come on down and they're going to head down tomorrow. So hopefully if they're luck they they'll catch an evening plane tomorrow. Things are great here and today we've just been building snow walls and getting ready for the next group. Sounds like Allen and Pat have already done a carry up to Windy Corner and very well may be moving up to 14 tomorrow. We'll keep you informed on where everybody is. Hope all is well. Bye bye.
May 21, 2001 2:39pm, Denali Camp III, Alaska. Team II
Hey folks this is the Silver Tabasco Poodles. We just completed our carry to Windy Corner. Everybody's doing real well, it's a little bit cold, but thing are real good. We're going to be out of reception for about twenty four to forty eight hours, so this will be the last you're going to hear from us. We'll try to get some more personalized messages of the expedition members, once we roll into 14 camp, which should be in a day or two. Pat sends special hello to Barbara and Miriam, we'll put that one on real quick. So for now this is ac saying stay tuned for more thrills chills laughter and action and we'll be in touch in a day or two, bye, bye.
May 20, 2001 12:09pm, Denali Camp III, Alaska. Team II
Hey folks this is Allen with Alpine Ascents Denali II expedition, we came down to pick up our cache today at Kahiltna Pass. Pat and I are both feeling pretty good about the group, everyone's real strong. We did skip the camp at Kahiltna Pass due to strong winds and some bad weather so we jumped right up to 11,000 feet and enjoyed a real nice evening; we could look down at the pass and see the clouds just streaming through, probably wind speed close to 30 miles an hour and a lot of blowing snow, so we're real satisfied with our decision to have skipped this camp, we were nestled against some mountain hillside outcrops, sort of nestled in a little cirque up here where camp III is at so we were well protected and got a good view of all the bad weather, happy to be above it all.
We did come up with an expedition name we are the 'Silver Tabasco Poodles'. As the expedition progresses we might let you all know how we came upon that name, but we're STP for short. Brad would like to say a special hello to his Family in South Africa and Nick and Flint and Jeff and Chip are all doing real well. So we're real happy we'll give you guys a call when we reach 14 in a couple of days, we will be out of communication for the duration unless we do get up to 14 with the carry tomorrow but that's fairly optimistic. So for now, this is Allen, signing off, and we'll catch up with you in a day or two.
May 20, 2001 11:10am, Denali Camp IV, Alaska. Team I
Hi it's Peggy Foster calling from May 7 Departure Group I Denali, and my message is:
Steele, if...your...eyes...could...see...what...mine...have...seen. Denali is breathtaking! I love you Steele. Hugs and kisses Mom, Thank you, have a good day, bye.
May 19, 2001 10:04pm, Denali Camp IV, Alaska. Team I
Hi everybody this is Todd, we're at 14,000 feet and I'm with Team I, Brian and Dave and all of the group, and I'm going to pass around the phone and let everybody say hello and let them say what is on their minds. Here's Jeff:
"Hello this is Jeff. Some spectacular scenery and some frigid temperatures, it got down to about 25 below, but we're doing great, here's Keith."
"Hi it's Keith I'm thinking of you all, love you Laura, and we'll see you soon."
"This is Brian, everybody's doing good, we just had some pork ribs and fajitas, and it was great."
"Hey all you friends and family, this is Dave Schubring, I'm having a great time here and I haven't lost any weight yet and I don't think I'll be losing any at this rate, really good, really healthy and really kicking ass on the mountain, talk to you later, bye."
"Hello this Margaret, I'm having a great vacation, thirteen days, I'm spending time at 14.5 and just having a lot of fun and great views, see you soon."
May 18, 2001, 12:40pm, Denali Camp I, Alaska. Team II
Hello friends and family, this is Allen Carbert working with Pat Timson, leading Denali Expedition II. We're making our big carry to Kahiltna Pass today, we've been out of radio contact the last couple of days due to geographic features surrounding us, namely big mountains like Mt. Francis, and Kahiltna Peak and some other mountains like that. The group is doing exceptionally well, we've got a great group, we built a super awesome camp yesterday, it took us about two hours, the wind walls are really good, and that's a good thing, because we're expecting some weather tonight. We've got 40mph winds in the forecast and we have some snow expected, so we're ready to hunker down and take another day if necessary.
Everything's going really well, tomorrow we're going to make our move up to Kahiltna Pass or if the weather allows and people are feeling strong we might just trip our way up to the camp at 11,000 feet. Given the strength and experience of this group I'm confident that that's a realistic option. We're going to give you a call tomorrow and we're going to give you our official expedition name, we've got the wheels turning right now, the creative juices are flowing, and we'll come up with something that has a little panache. So for now this is Allen Carbert working along with Pat Timson again, and the motley crew of six hardcore climbers. So stay tuned for more thrills chills laughter and action from Denali Expedition II. This is Allen out.
May 17, 2001, 7:30pm, Denali Camp III, Alaska.
Hey Alpine Ascents it's Todd. We're at 11.5, it's about 7:30 at night, beautiful evening again, we did a carry up Motorcycle Hill and up past Squirrel Point up and around Windy Corner and did a cache just about an hour or so from the 14,000 foot camp. Tomorrow we'll move up to 14,000 feet. It was a good day and hopefully the weather will hold and we can move in tomorrow.
We got a message that Allen and Pat (Team II) have moved to the 7,900 foot camp, so they're away from Base Camp now, and Brian and Dave (Team Roadkill) are still at 14 tonight. They did a carry up to the fixed lines and they may take a rest day tomorrow and we may catch up with them and we'll be on the same schedule.
That's it for now everything's great up here, the climbing seems beautiful, the conditions are excellent, we're walking on hard surfaces, and skis and snowshoes are really unnecessary, we're just able to walk right on the surface. Its very harmonious and beautiful up here. That's all for now, bye bye.
May 16, 2001, 9:25pm, Denali Camp III, Alaska
Hi Alpine Ascents, this is Todd at 11,000 we all pulled in about three or four hours ago and put in a great camp and its sunny and snowing at the same time, its about 8:30 it looks like we've got about another four hours of direct sunlight on us. Life is great here. We got a message down today from Brian & Dave (Team Roadkill): they are moving up to 16,000, the guys are moving really quickly, and sounds like everybody is extremely strong and things look great for them. They hope to move to 16 tomorrow and 17 the following day, and take a rest day probably and prepare for summit, we'll have to see. The weather report is good for the next day or two and we'll find out what the long range is, but hopefully Brian and David and the whole group will be set for the summit. We're excited about that and we'll keep you posted. That's it for now, bye bye.
May 16, 2001, 1:10pm, Denali Camp IV, Alaska. Team I
From Julie V. in AK: Brian & Dave (Team Roadkill) called in and they are at 14 and planning to carry to 16 today if the weather looks good. If Todd is trying to catch them, Todd better put on his running shoes. The group is really strong and having a great time. It has been –22 at night. If the weather continues to stay good they might move to 16 today or else they will move tomorrow. But the plan is to move to 17 in two days. If the weather stays nice they might even summit this weekend. But there is a weak low pressure system moving in from the Aleutian and there is a high pressure system moving in from the Bering Sea and it looks like it might converge right over Denali in the next couple days and give them some interesting weather. They are having a great time and everyone is doing well and says hi to their families.
May 16, 2001, 9:48am, Denali Camp II, Alaska
Hi everybody it's Todd, we are just getting ready to move to 11,000 camp, that's Camp III for us. We did a carry up there yesterday in beautiful conditions and then slid down the hill in our sleds all the way back to camp to 9,500; kind of a really powdery, dusty, but really fun ride and everybody's having a great time.
We saw Brian & Dave's Team Roadkill Camp, so they've definitely moved out and on their way up so the guys at 13 are moving really quickly and it sounds like everyone must be in really great shape. Hopefully catch up to them in another day or so. We'll keep you in touch. Allen & Pat (Team II) will be doing their first carry today from Base Camp and moving to carry up to 8000 and back. The weather's great and it looks like for the next few days we are expecting pretty reasonable weather. We'll keep you informed, that's it from 9,700. Bye.
May 15, 2001, 4:01pm, Denali Camp II, Alaska
Hi everybody, it's Todd, we're at 9.7 right now. We did a carry up to 11.1, it was beautiful up there, we had a beautiful day, we were able to sled down in our sleds, so that was great, made really quick time coming down. And we saw Willi Prittie (8-day Mountaineering Course) today as he summited Kahiltna Dome so that was a great deal, he took everybody up to the top, and we are just enjoying the sunshine back at 9.7 and moved up to 11 today and it looks like Brian & Dave (Team Roadkill) are at 14. So we'll check in later.
Planes are flying overhead but the weather report is supposed to be good for the next couple of days and snow conditions are great, almost everyone is walking with shoes and not using snowshoes or anything. So its fast moving up here, and the mountain is great: I'm in my t-shirt right now in the sun. Hope everyone's well, bye bye.
May 13, 2001, 11:05am, Denali Camp I, Alaska
Hi everybody at Alpine Ascents, this is Todd. We're just leaving camp at 8,000 feet, it's about 11 in the morning, beautiful sunny day. Brian & Dave (Team Roadkill) we think, are on their way up, pushing or carrying a load up to 13,800, and Allen & Pat (Team II) are supposedly flying on today, that's what I heard when I called into town. So we'll have three teams on the mountain as we talk.
Things are beautiful here, yesterday we did a great carry up to 9,500 roughly and I lost the whole bottom of my boot, which was an interesting experience, I've never done that, it just peeled off, the whole heel of it, so I was looking at having to quit the expedition for a second, but we drilled some hole in the bottom and took some of those, what you put around a baggie, strip tabs, stuck those through the bottom of my shoe into my heel drilled holes there, pulled it tight and they seem to be working great, so maybe we've invented a new shoe goo.
Everything is great, we're leaving on our carry, and we'll talk to you guys later, that's it from the mountain.
May 12, 2001, 9:20am, Denali Camp I, Alaska
Hey everybody it's Todd and Ruth and Lakpa, we're at 8000 feet, it's Sunday morning, I believe the twelfth. It's a beautiful day: we've got a small valley wind coming down from Kahiltna Pass about two or three miles an hour, but other than that, no clouds in the sky and beautiful day.
We're going to to do a double carry today that means that we're going to carry all of our gear up Ski Hill which is steeper hill, so it's hard to pull it all at once. Then it gets cached at about nine-and-a-half thousand,, and then we come back down for another load.
May 11, 2001, 7:10pm, Denali Camp I, Alaska. Team I
Hey everybody at Alpine Ascents, this is Todd. We're at 8000 feet. We landed today at about one in the afternoon, flew in from Talkeetna with TAT, and landed at the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna. Beautiful day today, gorgeous sunshine. We immediately, instead of spending the night in camp there, we just packed up our gear and started skiing down the trail and its been a great day. We skied for about four or five hours, got to the 8000 foot camp, Camp I, and we're on the main Kahiltna Glacier now. Everything is great, the sun went behind the mountains about two hours ago, so it's pretty cold right now, I guess it's probably below zero at the moment, its getting really cold, should be cold tonight because its going to be a clear night.
We haven't talked to Brian & Dave (Team Roadkill) yet, it seems from the 8000 foot camp its hard with the CBs, we didn't get base camp or them, It's kind of in a low spot around the corner, so the CBs aren't working too well here. Hopefully we'll be talking with Brian & Dave tomorrow and Allen & Pat (Team II) will be flying home with the group on Monday. So we'll keep in touch and we'll let you know what's going on. This is Todd Burleson, for Alpine Ascents at Camp I on Denali.
May 10, 2001, 2:15pm, Denali Camp II, Alaska. Team I
Greetings from Alpine Ascents, Team I from Mt. McKinley. This is Dave Morton and happy to report that our group is doing very well. We are having incredible weather up here right now and our group is traveling strong. Right now I am calling you from Camp II at 10,000 ft. We moved up to Camp II yesterday and our resting up so that we can get ready to do some carries up to 11.5.
We are attributing the group’s strength to the healthy meals we have been cooking every night. The high protein meal of fresh Talkeetna moose meat has been keeping energy levels high and we have now decided to change our official name for our team to “Team Roadkill”.
That’s “Team Roadkill” reporting from 10,000 ft. Take care and we will be in contact soon. Todd will be taking over the dispatches when he lands tomorrow, and will be getting reports from the different teams on the mountain.
May 9, 2001, 12:00pm, Denali Camp I, Alaska. Team I
Hi folks, this is Brian McCullough checking in. Just want to let you know we arrived safely a couple days ago. We have started carrying to Camp I and are getting ready to settle in. The weather is on the cold side and there are a lot of clouds. We have had a bit of snow , but our progress has been steady. I will call you in the next couple of days with another dispatch. Bye for now.
May 7, 2001, 12:00pm, Talkeetna, Alaska. Team I
Hello everyone, this is Dave Morton for the kick off of the Alpine Ascents Denali Season. Brian McCullough and I are here in at the Alpine Ascents Talkeetna Office for our initial team meeting and gear check. We have just an excellent scene up here in Talkeetna, we have these three Mongolian Gers up here on our property and we did our gear check inside a 30 foot diameter Ger. These things are fully furnished and just stunning. We are getting ready to head over to the National Park headquarters in town for our orientation meeting and registration, then we are off to the airport to load up the Cessna for our flight over to the glacier. The weather has been quite cloudy for the past week or so, but it look s like we have a good window to fly today.
Once we are on the ice, we will use the CB Radio to call in periodically until we get up to the 14,000 foot camp, where we can actually get a good signal for the iridium phone. This is Dave Morton signing off.
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