July 8th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team X
After a marathon descent from high camp in absolutely spectacular conditions, we made it back to base camp by yesterday morning and flew off in the afternoon. It was a long push, especially after a big summit day and pulling out of high camp as cold winds from the Northwest knocked down our snow walls and made melting water for drinks and packing up difficult. All in all though we were really blessed on this trip with very cooperative weather and conditions. We hit the weather window right on the descent and enjoyed firm conditions and safe & efficient travel down the heavily crevassed lower glacier.
We chowed down and celebrated at the West Rib last night and then went back for more good food at the Roadhouse this morning. Russ, Todd and Brendan put in a strong showing in the celebrating department and Mike put us all to shame with his voracious appetite.
Todd and I would like to thanks Mike (the Bacon Hater) for his knowledge of the Simpsons, 70's pop music and his tolerance of our liberal political rants! Thanks to Russ (Socrates) for his super positive attitude and witty philosophizing and thanks to Brendan (Asman) for his youthful enthusiasm and his hard work sucking it up on the descent around Windy Corner.
Also thanks to everyone who supported us- we really appreciate it. So we're turning off the lights and closing the door on another great Denali season! Our quote for the day comes from Russ who on day 1 was up before the guides, packed and ready for our first early morning carry at 2 a.m. Mark asked him what he was doing and Russ just smiled his big grin an said- 'Hey man- I love this sh*t.'
July 6th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team X
Hey this is Jesse Williams with Alpine Ascents Denali Climaxe Team calling you from the 14 Camp. We had a pretty long summit day yesterday, in pretty nice conditions though, sunny day, good visibility, little bit of a cool breeze that picked up in the afternoon, when we got back to camp the wind picked up pretty good, but everybody did a great job and are psyched about it.
This morning we woke up at high camp to pretty strong winds and cold temperatures and waited for them to mellow down a little bit and then decided to scoot on down as the forecast was calling for even colder winds and stronger winds for the rest of the week. So everybody is doing great and we are down here at 14, resting up, eating and dirking and getting back on top of things and we may start working our way down a little bit later tonight, start catching the freeze cycle on the lower part of the glacier and we may go all the way or we may stop at 11, we'll play that by ear as we go. Everyone is doing really well, they'd like to say hello to all friends and family, and that they are really psyched about the climb, talk to you later bye, bye.
July 5th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team X
Hi this is Todd calling for Team Climaxe. We just returned from our summit bid, a successful summit bid may I add. All members of the team made it up, Todd, Jesse, Mike, Russ, and Brendan all made it to the top. We summited at 6:15, but it's midnight right now, we just rolled back into camp. We left at 8:30 this morning. We will give you a full summary tomorrow, the main priority right now is to get into the tent and to get some water and something to eat so we can hopefully be feeling good in the morning and start our descent. We'll talk to you tomorrow, bye.
July 4th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team IX
Hi folks, once again this is Enrique calling from Denali with Tea Solstice at 14,200 feet. It is Sunday evening at about 8:30 and the sun in shining above the clouds. We've got great views of Mount Hunter and Foraker and we're currently resting from our long descent yesterday from 17. Folks did great, it was a long day with some fresh snow on the buttress, making for difficult travel conditions, it was about 12 hours for us to get down. Today was a rest day, everybody slept in, ate lots, hydrating and we are preparing for our descent down the mountain. We are hoping to leave tonight oh, about 1 in the morning or so, as soon as the freeze cycle sets in, and we will travel down to the lower mountain. The weather is looking pretty good today, and it's possible we may do a single push down to Base Camp in the morning. If the group is not up to it, we will probably have one more night on the lower glacier and roll into Base Camp around Tuesday or so. So we are looking to roll into Talkeetna within a day or two. This will probably be the last cybercast until we get back into town as we will be out of cell phone range. So everyone is doing good and sends their best wishes to family and friends and we look forward to reuniting with friends in Talkeetna. Enrique out.
July 4th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team X
Hi this is Todd calling in for Team Climaxe. We are here on a beautiful day at 17,200 foot camp. Yesterday we left the 14,000 foot camp, did a move up here and left in cloudy weather and as we started to move up the ridge it started to snow and it snowed all the way up the ridge so we didn't get the great views that you get on the ridge, but the climbing was fun. When we finally rolled into the 17,000 foot camp it was socked in and snowing hard and people were exhausted, but we dealt and got the tents up and got dinner going and before dinner was done it started to clear and this morning as we woke up we had beautiful skies and it seems that the smoke in the valley is pretty much gone, we're hoping that this trend will continue tomorrow when hopefully we will make our summit bid. Everyone is feeling good this morning and we send you all of our love and ask you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we go up tomorrow for the summit, we're signing off.
July 3rd, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team IX
Hey cyberworld this is Eric Murphy calling in for Team Solstice on Denali a little out of breath. I'm sitting here on the Edge of the Drop-off at 17,000 feet, in the sunshine with a couple of inches of new snow at my feet. Yesterday the team summited and we summited the whole group. We had a great day up high above the clouds and above the smoke, with warm temperatures and sunshine for the whole day. We returned at about 11:00 last night and folks were pretty tired, so we had some hot soup and a good night's sleep and this afternoon we are looking at heading down to 14,000 feet, hopefully the weather will hold for us and not be too nasty on the buttress.
We have some personal messages: Jim says summit day was incredible, I am anxious to get home and we will begin our descent today, all of you have been in my thoughts constantly, I can't wait to share stories, photos and my beard. I love you Mom and Dad.
Adam sends love to his family, and says summit day was hard but well worth it, the mountain is truly incredible and it looks as though we will be snowed in at 14K for a while. We maybe a little while away from Talkeetna. John sends love to all of his family, we all summited safely yesterday, we couldn't call from the top. See what my 16th birthday present led to.
Ellen sends love to family and friends and can't wait to see everyone when she gets back. The summit was amazing. She sends hugs and kisses to Ted and hopes he is recovering well. And the last but not least. Hi his is Matt, since I've been accused of being the short story author of cybercasts, I will keep this story short and neat. Some say they nailed, bagged or conquered a mountain, but ultimately it's the mountain's decision. Yesterday we were blessed with great weather, super conditions and a strong team, and were allowed a rare visit to Denali's spectacular summit. We will be forever grateful. We will be in touch on our descent, this is Enrique signing out.
July 2nd, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team X
Hi this is Todd Passey calling in from Alpine Ascents Group 10, Team Climaxe. Today July 2nd we had a rest day here in Camp 14, and the smoke has started to clear and the clouds have started to come in. It was still a warm day, kind of a windless day, but the smoke is seeming to clear out which is good, because we've been suffering with smoke in the lungs and the eyes. We are hoping that it will continue to clear and by the time we go for the summit we will have clear views of the valley down below. Our plan is to leave here tomorrow at around 8:00 and move on up the fixed lines and the ridge to our camp at 17,200 feet. It's such a nice day today, we ate ice cream for dessert and we just want to send our love best wishes back to our family and friends at home and we will see you when we're looking at you, bye.
July 1st, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team X
Hi this is Jesse with the Denali Climaxe Team. Well the big Alaskan fires are making for quite an interesting trip. The haze seems to settle a bit at night and the upper mountain has stayed relatively clear, but we have yet to see any of the awesome views that are typical of this camp. On the plus side though, it has been very warm and relatively light winds. Our trip up the headwall today to acclimatize and cache supplies at 16,400 feet on the West Buttress was really quite pleasant. Everyone climbed strong up and down the fixed ropes and demonstrated the efficiency that this small team is capable of. We're back down at the 14,000 foot camp now, hydrating and resting, trying to stay healthy in the smoky air. Ironically the good weather that has made for such an easy trip up here so far is now contributing to this pattern of a smoking haze. I hate to say it but a little wind and precipitation would actually clear things out.
Everybody would like to say a little hello. Mike would like to say hi to his family and say that Alaska is a really neat place and he looks forward to a family vacation here again sometime soon, hopefully when it is not so smoky. Russ would like to tell Elena and Christopher that he loves them and he misses them and he's having a great time. Brendan says hey to his friends and family. Todd would like to tell Winslow that he loves her. I'd like to say the same to Emily and as well as a good hello to my friends and family and crew at The Mountaineer back in Keene Valley.
A rest, recovery and acclimatization day are on the schedule for tomorrow and if all goes well, we will be moving up to high camp the next day. Our quote for the day comes from Jimi Hendrix, "I have only one burning desire, let me stand next to your fire."
June 30th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson and Team Groundhog Day giving you a call on Wednesday. We got off the glacier yesterday at about 7:00 at night and did the shuffle into hotels and got everybody fed last night late. It was sort of a mad rush to get home. People are doing fine, everybody is off the glacier with all of their equipment and safe. Just like to say thanks for a great expedition to everybody. And I would like to thank the friends and family that are watching the cybercast and giving us some great support and energy, we definitely needed it, it was a very successful trip and I was happy to meet all of our team members and climb with them and it was an excellent time. This is Eric Larson signing off.
June 30th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team X
Hello this is Todd calling with Alpine Ascents Team 10, Team Climaxe. We arrived yesterday here at 14,000 foot Camp at about 3:00. We were greeted by the other Alpine Ascents' Teams on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. This morning we slept in, had a good breakfast of French toast and bacon and a leisurely morning. As we woke up this morning the sky was fairly clear, but throughout the day it got more and more hazy due to the fires around Alaska. We considered changing our name to Team Up In Smoke because of the excessive amount of smoke in the air, you can smell it and you can't see very far out, so our great views are being obscured. But we are happy and healthy and grateful for a nice rest day here at 14,000 feet.
This afternoon we are going to do a little practice with the fixed ropes, because tomorrow we will do our carry and acclimatization hike up the fixed lines and return back down here, tomorrow afternoon. So wish us luck, and lets hope that this weather holds out, or maybe wish that we get some rain to put this fire out, so we can see something when we get to the top. Anyhow, we are all good and happy and thinking about family and loved ones back home. Keep your thoughts with us and wish us good luck.
June 29th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team IX
Hello this is Eric Murphy calling from 14,200 foot Camp. It is Tuesday and today was our second rest day here at Camp IV. Everybody is doing excellent, enjoying this good spell of weather. Lots of rest and relaxation and good food. Tomorrow we are looking to begin our final push up to High Camp, Camp V at 17.2, we're looking to get an early start. Yesterday we were fortunate to see Eric Larson's team coming down from a successful summit bid, everyone looking well and we anticipate to see Vern's team as well after their successful summit bid yesterday. So things are looking good here at Camp IV and we are hoping that the weather is going to hold. Message from John Hauf, aka Johnny Bad Time, says Hey mom and Dad looking forward to your visit at the cabin. And we will definitely stay in touch with you in cyberworld, as we begin our final push up the mountain, this is Enrique signing out for Team Solstice on Denali.
June 29th, 2004. Windy Corner. Team X
Hi this is Jesse with the Alp 10 Denali Climaxe Team. We are here at Windy Corner again, grabbing our cache and heading on to the 14,000 foot Camp. However it's yet another warm, sunny and still day, so everyone is thinking that Windy Corner is a bit of a misnomer. The smoke from the forest fires are keeping it hazy at night. We got up at 3am this morning and were treated to our first ever Denali thunderstorm, complete with lightning, thunder and grapple. But then it cleared right up again and we were back on track. Some interesting statistics here: Yesterday afternoon in the tents at 11,000, it was 85 degrees Fahrenheit and Russ recorded 104 degree F on top of his pack in the sun. Last night was a balmy 45 degrees and Mike just recorded 40 degrees F in the shade here at Windy Corner, crazy. So we're off to the 14 Camp and a rest day tomorrow. Thanks to the persistent hot and humid conditions, our quote for the day comes from the Wicked Witch of the West: "I'm Meltingggg!"
June 29th, 2004. 9,500 feet. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson, with Team Groundhog Day. It is Tuesday at 12:30 in the morning and we are calling you from 9,500. We've been traveling all day form 17 Camp, pulled into 14 about 1:00 and we had dinner, quesadillas at 11,000 Camp at around 6:00, hung out there for about 6hours until the glacier froze and slapped our snowshoes on and started trudging down the glacier. We should be about 7 hours to the airstrip, hopefully with no troubles on the lower glacier, but everything is going well, the skies right now are pretty clear, the haze from the fire up in the Tauk area, but I think our chances of flying out tomorrow are pretty good, so look for another cybercast and stay by the phones so everybody can call their sweethearts and friends and family, this is Eric Larson signing off and we'll call you tomorrow when we are in Talkeetna.
June 28th, 2004. Summit. Team VIII
Hey there cybernauts, friends family and loved ones, this is Team Vivo on the summit of North America! We have just topped out on a wonderful interesting day. We have a smog glare up here in Alaska due to forest fires, but it's actually clear enough that we can see the mountains down in the valley below us. Everybody is very happy to be here, everybody has made it in the group. We are taking photographs and enjoying the last bit of sun before the clouds block it out, but it has been a wonderful trip, we had a great time and everybody has contributed immensely to the success of this project. So we really appreciate the fact that you guys have been tuning in and following our progress, now all we have to do is the other half of the climb which is getting down, so please keep us in your prayers and your thoughts as we drop down about 4 miles straight down into the valley over the next three days. The only thing we have to do tonight is get back and get some dinner into us. So thanks again for following us and we'll see you down in high camp and we'll do another report so you know we got back safely. This is Vern Tejas at 20, 143 feet above sea level, ciao for now.
June 28th, 2004. Windy Corner. Team X
This is Todd Passey calling from 13,500 feet at Windy Corner. We have done a carry up here to Windy Corner, we are going to do a cache here and hang out for a while, we have such great weather up here, we want to be using the time to hang out and acclimatize a little bit. No need to rush down as Windy Corner is definitely not living up to it's name, today it is as calm as can be.
Everybody on the team is doing great, spirits are high, and we are looking forward to our move up tomorrow, up to 14. Just so families know, there was an accident on the mountain yesterday, not involving our groups, but those of you watching and paying attention to the goings on on the mountain might hear about this and wonder if it was us, because we were definitely in the vicinity but our group was not involved. We send all of our families our love and ask you to keep your thoughts and prayers with us. This is Team Climaxe signing off until tomorrow, thanks.
June 27th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson, giving you a call back from High Camp. That's right Team Groundhog Day has descended off the summit and made it down to Camp again. It's right around 8:30, everybody's spirits are really high, it was kind of balmy and warm down here, we had to stop right before camp and take some layers off for sure, it was hot. Tonight we are going to stay here and feed these guys some ramen and potatoes, get some hot drinks in 'em and put then to bed and get some rest. Tomorrow morning we will hopefully wake up, and if everyone is feeling good and get out of here early and move our way down to the 14,000 foot camp. Depending on how they are doing and the weather, we should be at the airstrip within 3 days, so that would be the 30th. We'll give you a call from 14 and tell you of our progress, everyone is doing great, this is Eric Larson signing off.
June 27th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team VIII
Hello cybernauts, this is Vern Tejas with Team Vivo. We are fully encamped at 17,200 feet above sea level. We had a great rest day, people are feeling psyched for going up, the weather looks like it is going to hold, we've got blue skies, a few of the light fluffy, misty clouds are blowing through, but other than that we can see for a long way. We're hoping that the weather holds so that we can take off tomorrow morning with a reasonable start. We don't want to go too early because the shadow comes down from the top of the mountain and covers the trail and it is very very bitter cold, we were down to zero last night up above it's going to be even colder, so we're hoping to get a reasonable start, not too early not too late, probably about 9:30 we'll roll out of here. We go up the Autobahn up to Kahiltna Pass, from there we follow the zebra rocks up to Archdeacon's Tower, if you've got a map, and then from there across the football field and up to the summit ridge. Please say your prayers and keep us in your thoughts, we're hoping that everything goes smoothly tomorrow. Thanks very much, ciao for now.
June 27th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team IX
Hello cyberfans, this is Eric Murphy calling in for Team Solstice. It is Sunday evening about 6:00 and we have completed our move to 14,200 foot camp or Camp IV on another beautiful and sunny day. Everybody is doing good, no personal messages tonight, just wanted to check in and let you guys know where we are. Tomorrow is going to be a full rest day for us and the day after that we are going to be looking at moving on to the upper part of the mountain, making some carries onto the West Buttress at about 16,200 feet.
June 27th, 2004. Summit. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson and Team Groundhog day calling you from 20,320 feet on top of North America! Everybody did really well, we did it in 7 hours 15 minutes from Camp. We left approximately 8:50. The crew did really well, it was along push, we had good weather though, which helped tremendously. Pretty clear skies out right now and a slight breeze, probably one of the best summit days I've ever had. There's a bit of a layer of smoke from a forest fire around in Alaska so it's sort of obscuring our view, but everybody is doing great, we just did our summit photos and we're ready to go down and get back to High Camp. We'll give you a report at 17 and give you more details, until then this is Team Groundhog signing off.
June 27th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team VIII
Hey there cybernauts this is Alpine Ascents Team Vivo. Vern Tejas calling in from 17,200 feet above sea level, looking down on all creation. It was a wonderful day today, we worked our way up from 14,000, up to the ridge and all the way up to the High Camp. We are now looking up to Denali Pass above us and it's clear blue skies and it's dead calm. A little smoke on the horizon from a forest fire that's down low, however we can see for miles and miles and miles and I tell you what, it just brings smiles to our faces. We'd also like to say hello to Rebecca and Rachel and Donna. Stay tuned everybody for the next exciting adventure, when we actually try to go for the summit after our rest day and that's tomorrow, ciao for now.
June 27th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team X
Hey this is Jesse Williams. We're back down at the 10,000 foot level at Kahiltna Pass on a short back-carry. After a relaxing brunch this morning, we are looking forward to an afternoon of rest and acclimatization and even a little social time with some of the other teams up there at the 11,000 foot camp. It is yet another day of spectacular weather and we feel truly blessed, especially given the difficult weather and conditions earlier this season. If all goes well, we'll be checking in tomorrow when we carry loads up around Windy Corner. Our quote for the day comes from honorable Home J Simpson. "Mmmmm, bacon." Thanks for the support everyone and we'll talk to you tomorrow.
June 26th, 2004. Windy Corner. Team IX
Hello this is Eric Murphy calling for Alpine Ascents and Team Solstice here on Denali. It's Saturday about 2:30 in the afternoon and I am calling from Windy Corner on a beautiful day here. We've got about 10mph of wind at the corner, but other than that it is what we would call a perfect day. Everybody is doing well, we just left our cache at about 13.5, just around Windy Corner and tomorrow we are hoping to move up to 14 Camp.
I have some personal messages from folks on the team. Ellen sends big hugs to Ted, everything is going great. Please tell Pete and Steph their gear is awesome and say hi to Charlie and Neva. Matt says hello, my breath was taken away after our climb to 13,500, we rounded the infamous Windy Corner and I was rewarded with a sight of Denali second only to my wife in beauty. Jim sends a shout out to everyone back home, Jesse you hat is great and Robby I love the book, thanks you for allowing me to pursue my dreams and I look forward to seeing everyone soon. Dave says hello Mom and Dad, Eric and Adrian, Cecelia, Gwen and Caesar, everything is going great, I hope all is well at home. Camilla says, Patricia, the internal war wages, the outcome to be determined. And Enrique says, today's musical and poetical inspiration was led by Jon Hauf, aka, Johnny Bad Time. And our last message for today, Adam sends love to family, says the views from the mountain are beyond belief and wants everyone to know that Jim is a closet Treviant (?) fan.
June 26th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling you from 17,200 foot camp. Today we started going up to Denali Pass, the winds finally slowly died down around 10:00 and we motivated out of camp and started going up the slope. We had some technical difficulties with equipment and some people were feeling the altitude a little bit, so we decided to turn around and try for another summit day tomorrow. It looks like the forecast is going to be good for another couple of days, so there's no reason to rush it up here. Making sure everybody is feeling better before we start pushing them to the summit.
But this afternoon, we rolled back into camp around 1 and we're just hanging out sitting in the sun, watching the views. This afternoon, a couple of us will run down to 16,000 foot cache site and grab three more days of food and fuel and return back up to High Camp and that will allow for us another 4 days up here. All in all, everybody is doing well, they are definitely kind of tired and lethargic from the altitude, but once they finally go tin their groove this afternoon, they started to move well. So hopefully everybody finds their groove tomorrow and we'll summit. We'll give you a call tomorrow and let you know what happened.
June 26th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team X
Hi this is Todd Passey calling in for Alpine Ascents X, the Climaxe Team. We are here at Kahiltna Pass at 10,000 feet on a beautiful sunny cloudless day. We are moving on up to 11.2 today and stopped here to have a snack and pick up a couple of things from our cache. We are having a great time, everyone is in great shape and we want to send out a few hellos to family and friends.
We'll start off with Mike. Mike sends his love to Ruth, Libby, Becky, Anne, Tricia and all of the other family members and friends watching him in cyberworld. Russ wants to send his love to Elena, Christopher and the folks in Colorado. Brendan sends his love to Mom, Dad, Rebecca, Kirsten, and Parker. Jesse sends his love to Emily, Francis and Ginger. And Todd, me, I send my love to Winslow and my family. So we will see al you people later and keep your thoughts on us and hope for more good weather like today, we are. Talk to you later.
June 25th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson with Team Groundhog calling everyone on the evening of the 25th of June. We had some high winds and some clouds today so we decided to hang out and wait for some better weather, maybe tomorrow. The weather report is calling for clear skies with winds around 20mph. So it should be a god day for the summit. Everyone is pretty excited, they are doing really well. Their appetites are there, and they are just hanging out and enjoying the views and playing a lot of cards. We'll give you a call tomorrow, from the summit hopefully. Until then this is Team Groundhog Day signing off.
June 25th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VIII
Hey this is Team Vivo with Vern Tejas reporting in from 14,200 feet. We just made a carry up to 16.2 thanks to your good wishes and thoughts. The weather has turned much better in the last couple of days. We are now in position to move up to high camp and wait for the good weather. Most of the people are doing quite well other than a blister or two here and there. We're just ever so thankful that the wind has dropped and the snow has gone away for the time being. Please stay tuned and we'll update you manana, ciao for now.
June 25th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team X
Hey this is Jesse Williams with Alpine Ascent Team ten giving you guys a call from the 10,000 foot level, right below Kahiltna Pass. We made a carry today from the base of Ski Hill. Everybody is looking good. On day 2 we did a little bit of review in Base Camp of glacier travel and crevasse rescue. And early morning, or midnight on Day 3, we carried almost to Camp I. Unfortunately Mark H. injured his knee, a little snowshoe accident, and we had to turn around and drop him off, our best wishes to him and hope he recovers quickly and well.
Day 4, yesterday, we moved back to the base of Ski Hill. Got up early this morning and carried back up here today. If all goes well tomorrow we will climb back up past this cache and then do a little back-carry the day after tomorrow when we'll check on in. Best wishes to everyone, friends and family who supported our efforts to be here. We're having a great time.
We have a quote of the day, it sort of sums up the enthusiasm and optimism of our team, and it's been the theme here on the lower glacier: "There's two kinds of people in the world, there are those who are us, and there are those who want to be us." Right now we are pretty happy to be us. Our team name, we decided because we flew in on the Solstice, and this is the last climb of the season for Alpine Ascents, is Team Climaxe. That's it for today and we will talk to you guys tomorrow.
June 24th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VIII
Hello this is Team Vivo from 14,200 feet above sea level on Denali. And we are here to tell you that the wind is blowing big time. We've been stuck in camp all day, we wanted to do a carry but we've been pinned down. And we've been entertaining ourselves by speculating about different people's personal life. But other than that we've had just a wonderful day eating crumpets and entertaining people. And we actually had the mountain High rock and roll hillbilly band got kicked off today with guitars, harmonica, pots and pans and salt and pepper shakers, it was quite a cacophony of sound, you should have been here. So with that in mind we are crossing our fingers and going to bed, hoping that the winds die down, the snow stops falling and we are able to proceed with our climb. Please keep your fingers crossed and we're looking forward to you staying tuned, ciao for now.
June 24th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson giving you a call from 17,200 foot Camp, High Camp on Denali. Team Groundhog Day. Everything is going well, we pulled into high camp yesterday at about 5:00, about a 7.5 hour climb up here. Got a little windy in the afternoon on the ridgeline which slowed us down a little bit, but we pulled into camp with everyone feeling good, but a little winded from the altitude and tired from the long day with heavy backpacks. All things considered, they are doing great.
We've got a little bit of wind right now and cloud cover, so hopefully that rolls off tonight and tomorrow we'll give it a go for the summit. We're expecting about a 12-hour day going from High Camp and we'll be leaving at about 9:30, 10:00. Other than that things are going well up here. We've got plenty of food and fuel to ride anything out for the next five days and the guys are doing great, they're playing hearts and gin and spades, doing pretty well. But until then we're playing cards and drinking hot drinks. We'll talk to you from the summit tomorrow. This is Team Groundhog Day signing out.
June 24th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team VI
Hey everyone out there in cyberland, this is Eric Remza calling from Talkeetna, AK. We flew off the glacier yesterday, at around 4-5:00 in the evening. David and Steve and myself, we ended up going over to the Fireweed Station, it's a bed and breakfast probably about 10 minutes up the road from downtown Talkeetna. Great people Tom and Hobbes Cluberton, really treated us well last night with a fine meal of bbq chicken and steak and all the accoutrements which make a fine meal. So we ended up spending the night out there, and this morning I am actually waiting at the junction of Sunshine and the road into Talkeetna and the shuttle is going to be taking David and Steve back to Anchorage. Everything worked out really well, and now we're enjoying our time off the mountain, this is Team Three Amigos signing off.
June 24th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team IX
Hello cyberworld this is Eric Murphy calling in for Team Solstice. It's Thursday morning about 8:30 and we're at 10,000 feet on the upper Kahiltna near Kahiltna Pass and it's blowing and snowing., Folks we're going to pass our cache today and move on up to 11,000 feet and then the plan tomorrow will be to back carry. We'll bring our cache up to 11. Everyone is doing really well and we hope to be in contact again with an update as soon as we begin to move above 11,000 foot Camp, roughly 2-3 days from now. So just for a quick check-in, this is Team Solstice on Denali, ciao.
June 23rd, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VIII
Hey this is Team Vivo, we'd like to say hello to Rebecca and tell everybody we are safely ensconced in our nice little dome tent, it's actually more of a teepee. Well we're cooking and eating pizza tonight. Everybody's in good spirits and we're thinking about all of our loved ones back home. We did have a little fixed line school today and in particular I'd like to mention that Theresa has got it wired. We practiced over and over again and I think we've got it made. So tomorrow we are going to expect no trouble from her corner. So please stay tuned and drop in and see what's happening with Team Vivo.
June 23rd, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team IX
Hello this is Eric Murphy calling in for Alpine Ascents Team #9, Team Solstice. From here on we will be known as Team Solstice, and we are comprised of Matt, Ellen, Dave, Kamila, Jim, Adam, Eric Murphy and John Hauf doing the guiding,. Today we just cached at 10,000 feet on a breezy but sunny afternoon. And we have some personal messages we want to get out to some folks.
Matt says, sorry everyone, it's Team #9, not Team #10. Honey I'm missing you lots and everything else is great. Ellen says love to Ted and hopes his shoulder is healing and love to all of the other Ann Arbor friends. Jim wants his friends and family to know that all is well. The mountain is more beautiful than he ever thought possible, hugs kisses and go Titans! Kamila says, Mom and Dad say hi to Boo. CIBC, keep the deals coming, I will be back. Adam wants to tell his mom and dad that he loves them, that the mountains are incredible and that he says hi to his boys back home. And finally Dave wants to thanks the Scleroderma Research Center Foundation and his friends and family for all of his support. So, tomorrow we hope to move to Camp II and possibly even carry on to Camp III with a back carry to Camp II the following day. Everyone is doing good, this is Eric Murphy signing out for Team #9.
June 22nd, 2004. Talkeetna. Team IX
Hi this is Allen reporting from Talkeetna on behalf of Team 9 Lead by John Hauf and Eric Murphy. Their first day began with thoughtful introductions and a thorough gear check at our Talkeetna, Alaska office. This was done outside under sunny blue skies. The only thing not found at the gear check were the mosquito's and actually no one really missed them they just missed us.
On Team 9's 2nd day, a day of skills review on the glacier, I personally had the good fortune to find myself at the Kahiltna Base Camp "working" in perhaps the most beautiful place on earth. I paid the team a little visit and my gift of fresh cinnamon rolls was well received. Their plan as of yesterday was to have moved out of Base Camp at 12am on the 22nd to travel on hard surface and avoid the soft snow conditions that prevail in the heat of the day. They were going to make a single carry to Camp 1 to avoid the heavily crevassed glacier between Base Camp and Camp 1. This strategy is common because it cuts significant mileage off of the first several days. When Team 9 reaches an elevation of 10,000ft they will attempt to make their first cybercast from the field. We wish them a good safe trip!
June 22nd, 2004. 14,200. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson giving you a call from 14,000 foot camp. Today is Tuesday the 22nd, just after summer solstice. Today was a rest day for us, we wanted to get four nights in at 14, so that's tonight. Hopefully the weather gets better tomorrow and we'll be able to go up and put in our high camp. Forecast is indicating some high winds, so we are definitely going to take our time and look at what the winds are doing up high before we move.
It's the 14th day of our expedition, everyone is doing well, spirits are high. Today we walked to The Edge of The World, checked out the views dropping down to the lower Kahiltna Glacier and the East and West Kahiltna Peaks. pretty beautiful. This morning we ended up[ building some walls around our tents and cook tent and just had a relaxing day in the sun. We'll give you a call tomorrow from either high camp or here and tell you how it went and what the weather is doing. So stay tuned for Team Groundhog Day. This is Eric Larson signing off.
June 22nd, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team VI
Hi everyone out there this is Eric Remza. We are on our way down from 17,200 feet, our high camp. It was a short cybercast yesterday regarding our successful summit, but we did make it back down to 17 Camp safely. All in all we left high camp at about 9:45. and had a good long day. We will give you a call tomorrow and let you know about our progress down the mountain.
June 22nd, 2004. Talkeetna. Team V
For one last time this is Brennen Brunner of the Rat Patrol, ALP 5. The last of our crew went home yesterday, and it may seem we have sailed off into the sunset. Not every story is destined for greatness, nor does every tale beg to be told. Some do, though, and let me tell you of the final days of our expedition.
In my last transmission we were moving to our high camp of 17,200'; a day thought by many to be the most demanding day on the mountain. We ascended the fixed ropes to 16,200', picked up a pre-placed cache, then lumbered along a sometimes thin and always spectacular ridge of rock and snow. It was here that two members became afflicted by altitude, Neal and David D., and descended with my able companion Erik Johnson. The remaining four of us absorbed the remaining group gear and moved on.
After establishing a camp, we rested the next day to help acclimatize, and bolstered the walls around our tents. Personally I spent much of the day watching the sky; with its dark clouds and lenticulars; its resemblance to the "Eye of Sauron" from "The Lord of the Rings" was no great stretch. Thirty people left for the summit that morning, all of them immediately turning around after facing high winds at Denali Pass.
The next morning, being my birthday, the team made me a delicious breakfast of mac and cheese. The gifts didn't end there though -- a sudden wind blew down the Posh Tent, and we retreated quickly to our tents. Two hours into the storm we lost our first tent: both cross poles at the top broke in multiple places, ripping through the fly and making an instant skylight. Bill and Patrick quickly moved in with Nigel and me. Winds accelerated, blowing in the 50-80 mph range. We anchored a rope back and forth over the tent, then each one of us leaned into a corner to try to keep the poles from collapsing; there was some debate as to the prevailing wind direction, as it seemed like it was from all four corners all at once. Happy Birthday to me. We spent the night and most of the next day in this position; there was much spindrift in the tent, making it difficult to stay dry, and had to ration our food and water, as there wasn't room to safely light a stove.
The wind showed no signs of letting up; unlike lesser winds it deposited no snow, and quickly ate away at our double walls of snow blocks. The wind did carry ice chunks, and late in the second day we noticed a developing tear in our tent fly. Unable to field repair it, we went out and dug a snow cave, moving in conditions it was literally hard to stand. It was pointed out the dimensions of the cave were surprisingly close to my height, but since it's warmer to curl up and sleep anyway, there were no other complaints. I mention complaints half in jest, as there were few if any from this group I was in the tent with. Part of this may have been given the impossibility of much conversation in high winds, but you can tell much about a person in times of duress and no one gave a hint of panic or the loss of hope.
To quote my great uncle Bob, we were there to dance with the girl we brought and made the best of it. Patrick's much vaunted puppet morality play was sadly cancelled, but we otherwise rebounded well. The next day the wind let up slightly and, amid forecasts it would worsen again soon, we packed up and went for it. This ridge back to 16,200' was by far the wildest I've seen it -- the wind both pushed and lifted us; the descent took all day, with much crawling and waiting out behind rocks, half-encrusted in ice. Picking up the remnants of our cache we descended the fixed lines, only to become involved with the lowering of a sick climber. This became a long day, and was the one we were scheduled to fly out on.
We awoke the next morning, loaded our sleds and rattled around Windy Corner. The thought was to roll all the way out, but we'd been pushed much already in the last week. We took a good rest at 11,000', and found a tent half put up over our cache, then stopped again at 7800', where we ate great quantities of canned meat, drank, and enjoyed the hospitality of Forrest McCarthy, who identified us coming down Ski Hill. We left again at 0100, traveling the lower glacier at its coldest and firmest. It was a beautiful night, we watched the red sun rise behind Mt Foraker, and when we reached Heartbreak Hill, the consensus, on this trip at least, was that it failed to deliver much adversity at all.
But it was nice to be back. I want to extend my thanks and gratitude to all our cyberfans; we did have communication issues, and I'm sorry we weren't able to transmit more. I also want to thank the men who joined me, for it is the people who make a trip. We withstood a storm that many veteran rangers and climbers cited as the worst they'd ever seen. So not every moment was fun per se, we were able to experience fully a Denali which is rarely seen. To come back and climb through three weeks of calm and sun, we might feel cheated. I'll think about that one though. It was rarely easy but always beautiful; we leave the mountain now with vivid memories, and words, stories, and love for those we thought of while there, both in the brightest sun and while hunkered under our hoods. I wish all the best in future climbs, and with that, this is Rat Patrol out...
June 21st, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VIII
Hello there cybernauts, this is Team Vivo, Vern Tejas reporting in and telling you that the group is now safely ensconced with big walls of snow blocks all around their tents at 14,200 feet above sea level, in what we know as Genet Basin, also called 14.2 or Camp IV. It's a beautiful clear evening tonight. Looking at the sun shining off the upper mountain, a nice alpenglow and we're very happy to be here, it was a 3,000 foot gain today so everyone is pretty tuckered out and has gone to bed at this time. But we're very happy to be here, we're going to spend the next several days here acclimatizing. Tomorrow we will drop down and pick up pour food and fuel. I just want to say hello to Rachel and a little later we'll say hello to her sister. Just wanted to let everyone know that we are fine and doing well, we are at the second highest camp on the mountain and things are looking up and we're very happy to be here. Ciao for now.
June 21st, 2004. Football Field. Team VI
Hey everyone out there this is Eric Remza with Alpine Ascents Team 6, Team Walk in the Park, we actually changed our name to the Three Amigos, because now it's just myself, David, and Steve B. left on this trip. We've got some good news, we just summited! We are down to the Football Field, getting ready to hike back to 17 Camp. It's probably about 9:30 at night, we had a spectacular day, blue skies all around. Not too bad with the wind, we made it up in good style. So tired that we are going to take it easy on our way back, to avoid any injury, but I wanted to let everyone out there know that we summited and I'll probably have David give a cybercast when we get up tomorrow. Take care, bye.
June 21st, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VII
Hey this is Ben Billings calling with an update from the Groundhogs, Alpine 7. We are up at 14 Camp on our third evening here acclimatizing. We have a productive day today with a carry up to 16.2, and exciting day up through the fixed lines and up to some new high altitude. We dropped down low today, back to camp, where we will be at least tonight and perhaps tomorrow night as well. I have a message from Arch to his wife Sue, he is wishing her a happy belated anniversary. Hope all is well and we will be in touch soon. Alpine 7 over and out.
June 21st, 2004. Talkeetna. Team X
Hi this is Todd Passey and Jesse Williams calling in from Alpine Ascents Group 10. I just want to introduce the team we have going up the mountain today. We have Russ, Mike, Brendan, and Mark. Everybody is looking good. We've got our gear all set after a couple little adjustments and we're ready to go. The skies are clear and beautiful and the mountain is out so there's really very little question that we will fly. We are waiting to fly here, we are scheduled to fly onto the mountain at 4:00. If we do fly this will be the last cybercast for two days until we make our carry up around Kahiltna Pass, where we will again have phone reception. Until then we send our love to all the family and friends who are out there in cyberworld, and ask that you keep your good thoughts and karma send out towards us so we can have a safe, fun, successful trip. This is Todd signing off from Alpine Ascents 10, see you later.
June 20th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Team Groundhog Day calling you again from 14,000 foot camp. It was a beautiful day today, low winds clear skies and we sat around camp, had a lazy morning and did some acclimatization. We ended up doing some fixed line school, some running belay practice, we all pitched together and put up our cook tents this morning and had hashbrowns, eggs and bacon. everybody slept well last night, no complaints of headaches or other altitude symptoms. They were pretty tired from the long day yesterday, but they are starting to recover there was a lot of laughing during dinner and giggling this afternoon, so that is always a good sign.
Forecast sounds pretty good, tomorrow we will be going up the fixed lines and dumping our cache of food and fuel at the top so we can retrieve it later when we need it for our summit bid. We will give you a call tomorrow when we get up to 16,200 feet and let you know how it went. until then this is Eric Larson signing off for Team Groundhog Day.
June 20th, 2004. 13,500 feet. Team VIII
Hey cybernauts, we are standing at Windy Corner at this moment and we are wishing you a Happy Father's Day! Windy Corner is aptly named because we are getting hammered right now by the wind. But we can see millions of miles off to the west, it's a beautiful day, looking down the Kahiltna's beautiful wall, you can see almost all 36 miles of the Kahiltna Glacier. We've just come up and deposited food and fuel at 13,500 feet. The team is strong and looking good and if we can get good weather, I can say that we're more than likely to get up to the top. However, there is a good chance that the weather is going to change. Hopefully tomorrow, we'll bring our camp up to 14,200 feet at Camp IV, and then we'll hang out and get good and acclimatized and get ready for the upper mountain. So stay with us, we'll call you as often as we can. Yoo Hoo!
June 19th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling you from 14,000 foot camp. Today is Saturday the 19th and we arrived at Medical Camp today at about 5:00. Everybody is doing really well, we weathered the storm down at 11,000 foot camp, three days of heavy wet snow fell on us approximately 5 feet. These guys did a lot of shoveling, they had to get out of their tents about every hour to take care of business, but they did a good job.
Last time we called you we were calling from the 10,000 foot cache, and we spent six nights at 11,000 foot camp weathering the storm and then moved up to 14 today. Everybody pushed pretty hard today, it was a long day about 8 hours, we had heavy packs and sleds, but we got into camp, we fed 'em and they are all in bed tucked away right now, I'm sure they will sleep pretty good.
Tomorrow, it looks like we will have more skills training, do some more wall building and put up our kitchen. Our phone is acting up a little bit, so we will get back to you as soon as we can, so until then this is Team Groundhog Day signing off.
June 19th, 2004. 9,500 feet. Team VIII
Hello this is Vern Tejas with the cybercast for Team Vivo, (One of our climbers, Ruben, is sponsored by Vivo) broadcasting from Camp II at 9,500 feet on the Kahiltna Glacier. It's a beautiful clear day with only one hazy lenticular hanging out over the North summit of Mount McKinley. The team is doing well, Gary unfortunately has left our trip, he decided he didn't want to slow the group down and wanted to do some more training, so he left earlier from the airport. Since then we've had John and Theresa and Lionel and Ruben and Garrett all members of our group here all safely ensconced behind our walls that we built during the storm. I'd like to mention Dave Kratsch, an excellent navigator as well as a good tent buddy and wonderful cook. Those things have all added to our success at this stage of the game. However it is early in that game and people have been coming down off the mountain, most of them reporting that they got blown off by high winds and terrible weather, so we're keeping our fingers crossed and hopefully we'll get the bad weather out of the way down low, and we'll be able to actually have a good shot at the summit when we get up there in a couple of weeks.
We'll be moving up today, we carried food and fuel up yesterday to Camp III at 11,200 feet. We are now going to move our camp there and hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to move food fuel and equipment up around Windy Corner. We're going to try to call from there as well and just wanted you to know that if we can't get out a call there tomorrow it's because of a bit of a communications lull in that part of the mountains. Thanks you for tuning in and stay tuned for the future adventures of Team Vivo.
June 18th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VI
Hey everyone this is Eric with Team Walk in The Park. It's probably 9:30 in the evening here on the 18th and the winds have finally subsided. They are still really ripping up top, but at 14 it's quite nice. A lot of streaming lenticulars, kind of cumulous clouds with lenticular clouds interacting through them in a kind of pattern all evening. It's a nice evening , you can see down to the tundra, down toward the rivers and lake and the green stuff, so it's a welcome sight after the last four days. Everyone is coming down from 17, people who are coming down are really tired and I am waiting for the Alpine Ascents team led by Brennan Brunner and it sounds like his whole group is doing great, they are on their way down right now and I've got the hot water brewing for them right now. I know a lot of you guys probably have not heard from them in quite a while, but it sounds like everyone is AOK and should be down here today, so that's good news.
Other than that we have a Mexican Father's Day, a happy father's day from David Liano, to his father Ricardo Sr., affectionately known as Senor Taco. That's about it, everyone else is doing great, just watching another fabulous sunset here in the Alaska Range. The is Eric Remza, everyone take care and good night.
June 18th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team V
Hi This is Allen reporting from Talkeetna – we did have communication with Brennan via the ranger station at 17, 200 and though the weather is tough with 60 mph winds ( according to NPS) the team is doing well. The weather has resulted in poor/little cell coverage from the mountain for regular dispatches.
Lower on the mountain there was 5 feet of snow at 14K So team 5 is doing well, plenty of supplies and they are camped with some of the rangers at 17,200feet. There are also a number of other teams at this camp. Currently we have clear skies over Denali and we expect to see teams moving in the next day or so. We also talked to Rangers at lower camp where other Alpine Ascents teams are also fine and waiting to move up.
Allen Carbert from Alpine Ascents – Talkeetna
June 17th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VI
Hello everyone in cyberland. This is Eric Remza. It has been snowing throughout the night, we have been digging our way out of our tents. It is another day (poor reception) Winds are projected for 14,500 and above, we can see wind on the ridge right now about 35 mph winds, and that's about all, we'll give you a call soon, hopefully when this storm has subsided.
June 16th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team IV
Hello all this is team High Five's last cybercast. We are all back in Talkeetna (or heading home) and doing well. Just dropping back to the past few days...We started our descent from 17,200 ft. on the afternoon of the 14th. Once again the sun was out and the sky was a mix of cloud shapes. Lots of looming lenticulars on the horizon covering Foraker and plums of snow blowing off Hunter told us of the high winds aloft. Nothing new for this crew of wind devils. We packed up and started our ridge walk back to 16,200ft in a flurry of wind. Everyone did well on the climb down despite the wind and internal butterflies.
Our descent on the fix lines was no less exciting- wind in our faces (35+ knots) snow blasted our covered bodies. After a fine meal of burritos at Camp 4 at 14,200ft we continued on our loooong march down. We were originally going to camp and sleep for a brief spell around 9,500ft but with some daunting clouds and weather on the horizon we opted to continue down. This was definitely a test of endurance and mental resolve. Overly tired but still physically strong we pounded down the Kahiltna and fought our way up Heart Break Hill to find the weather closing in fast. Eric, Lien, and Trey were the first out. Myself, Nat, Leo, and Kami were the next off the glacier. We were all happy to be aloft heading for fine salads and king salmon.
Our flight back to Talkeetna was filled with great views of mountains and glaciers, but also contained the fear of the looming weather ahead. There was a few tense moments were we thought Dana and Dan might be weathered in at Base Camp as the clouds were quickly covering the passes and snow started to fall. We had visions of them left on the glacier eating roman noodles and stale bagels while we ate fresh veggies and salmon, oh the tense moments we were having. Luckily the skies remained open enough to reunite the crew and allow us a fine meal in Talkeetna.
Team Sister Williams (aka the Hula-hoop Girls) also tried to summit on the same day we did and returned due to the high winds also. They are now back home too enjoying the fineries of life (i.e. running water and toilets). We thank them for their fine company in the posh and for the laughter they helped promote on the the mountain. Not to mention the Hula-hoop session at 17,200ft. Thank you- to the entire team of High Five for a great climb and fine friendship. Hope to see you you all out there again in the future.
June 16th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VI
Hello everyone out there with their warm weather, this is Eric Remza with Team Walk in The Park. We are up here at 14,200 feet and in the cradle of Denali and I think we've been bad climbers because we are getting punished up here. It's been snowing with wind and oh yes, wonderful weather. Last night it kind of came in full force after we did our back carry and then we hung out in our tents. this morning we woke up at 9:30ish to high winds and you could hear up on the ridge, it was almost like a 747taking off, just kind of making it's way down the headwall and bam hit us here at 14,200 feet. So we had to get up and do a lot of shoveling and do some camp maintenance and build some more walls, it was a lot of fun, yeah right. But we are honestly all doing fine, all the boys are doing great and everyone is in good spirits still. We were supposed to do our carry up to 16.2 today, but that's not going to happen, so we'll try for that tomorrow, we'll keep you posted, see ya.
June 15th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VI
This is Traverse calling in for Team Walk in the Park. We're calling from 14,200 feet today. We started off the day by heading down to Windy Corner to pick up our cache of gear and encountered some very strong winds with gusts up to 45 mph. The team got a taste of Denali weather. After that we made our way back to camp. Did some practice here with fixed lines and running protection and we're all getting psyched up and prepared for the climb up the headwall tomorrow, that's one of the more technical sections of the route. Everybody is excited, we're hoping to have good weather. It does look like storms are moving in and we can see a lot of high wind up on the ridgeline, so we're hoping for good luck and hoping we can make it up tomorrow and we'd like to drop a cache off at Washburn's Thumb, halfway between here and our next camp. We've all got our fingers crossed here.
A few personal messages: Dan says, Happy Birthday Mom, and he also says Lembi, I love you so much. Rick says, I love you Angie, I miss you and the kids and Larry thanks for the tip. Mike T: Mrs. T, I'm having a great time, and looking forward to being home. I'm working very hard but having a great time. Those are all the personal messages for today, this is Team Walk in the Park signing out.
June 14th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team VI
Hey everyone this is Eric Remza with Alp 6, aka Walk in the Park. We are up at 14,200 feet, we did our move today from 11,200 feet. Great teamwork everyone did an awesome job getting our camp set up. It is definitely really cold, so after dinner we are going to jump into our deep down sleeping bags. Our plan tomorrow is to go back down to 13,500 feet to retrieve our cache, bring all that food and fuel back up here. We will give you a cybercast tomorrow, hope all is well, everyone is doing well here.
June 14th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team IV
Hello hello, this is Erik Barnes with Team High Five, this will be our last climb from 17,200 feet here on Denali. We have been up here for about 6 days now, living in Denali's arms, actually experiencing the full gamut of weather. Yesterday, the team awoke to more high winds at Denali Pass and up the ridgeline. This was our last day for a summit bid as our supplies up here at 17 are now stretched to the limits. Everyone put in a real good effort and morale is high, being able to wait up here this long just to try for a summit bid. Since this was our last day for a summit bid, we waited for several hours in the morning for some break in the weather up on the ridgeline up there. We finally did actually get to see a little improvement, so this was a pretty tense time for some as all of their hard work was sitting in the balance of this decision of going up or not. In the end Denali will definitely make the decision for all of us.
We had a small break in the wind at about 11am yesterday, so we opted to make a push up. It was looking really good, and we were hoping for a good day up until halfway up the traverse to Denali Pass. It was at this point the winds picked up substantially and we were greeted with 35-40knot winds, snow and blowing snow, so we had a little ground blizzard going on there. Definitely not safe summit weather. It was a good push up and everybody performed well, but Denali definitely will have the last say. We made our move back down in worsening conditions, but never fear our tents were near and our hearts are full and content. So Denali's summit will have to wait for another day, but it is not the summit that makes the expedition, it is the friendships formed, the beauty of our surroundings and the journey we all take to get here. It has been a wonderful trip and a solid and cohesive team has been built.
We are packing up our gear today and heading down the mountain for our flight out on the 15th. The weather on the lower mountain is looking great, so we are hoping for a great descent. I think everyone is looking forward to seeing their friends and family again and enjoying little fineries in Talkeetna, so hopefully we'll be able to get some fresh veggies.
A few personal wishes here. Dana wishes V a very happy birthday and she is looking forward to celebrating when she is down. Trey says 'learned lots, look forward to trip down, hug and kisses to Hilda. Kami says hi to Bill in Arizona and the Thomas' in Michigan. I say hello to Miranda and pass my love on to her and my family in New Zealand and in the US. So looking forward to seeing you all, this is Team High Five out.
June 14th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team VII
Hello family and friends this is Team Groundhog Day calling you back from 10,000 feet. Woke up this morning at about 2am, rolled out of camp around 4:15 and we're sitting on top of the cache site right now, retrieving our shovels and heading up to Camp II at 11,200. The weather came in this morning and there is a bit of a cloud so we're inside a big ping pong ball, that sort of what it looks like if you can imagine being surrounded by a complete whiteout. Winds are about 15-20, and everyone is doing well in this new environment. It's sort of hard to adapt to it coming from Virginia and Boston and whatnot, but this crew is doing pretty good. It's a long day, I'm sure they're going to be pretty tired when we get to camp, but that's the normal. We'll give you a call tomorrow and tell you about our French Toast breakfast when we return back to our cache. Signing off.
June 13th, 2004. 13,600 feet. Team VI
Hello all you cybernauts, this is Eric Remza with Team Walk in the Park. We had a pretty big day today. Right now I am calling you from 13,600 feet up here just past Windy Corner on Denali. We just did our carry from our camp at 11,000 feet. We dug a big hole and buried all of our food and fuel that we will be using up higher on the mountain. Everyone is doing great, everyone did really well on the carry up here today. nice slow, steady pace and altitude doesn't seem to be bothering anyone very much.. People are kind of just laying around on their packs, kind of soaking up the sun and enjoying the views up here. Other than that, we will head back to camp, have dinner and hopefully get to bed at a reasonable hour so that tomorrow we can get a really early start again tomorrow morning. We plan tomorrow to move all the way up to 14,000 feet depending on the weather and how everyone is feeling. So that's about it, we will talk to you tomorrow.
June 13th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling you from the 10,000 foot mark, That's right we made it on the mountain. It was a long night, the weather finally broke on the 11th and we flew out at about 8:00 and we flew onto the glacier at about 9:15. When both planes landed, the team got back together, we sorted our gear and started moving up the glacier at about 10:45. Five and a half hours later, we found ourselves at Camp I. It was a pretty warm day on the glacier, the sun was out, but it was a tough haul. These guys did a single carry to make up our weather days, and they did a great job at it.
Last night we had some Tasty Bites, Bombay potatoes, and this morning we had eggs hash browns and bacon, pulled out of camp around 6:30 this morning and about 5 and a half hours later we made it to the 10,000 foot mark. Right now we are depositing/caching some equipment roughly 15 days of food and gallons of fuel and shovels and things like that. Loads were a lot lighter today, I think they were enjoying the sleds a lot more, I know I was enjoying mine more.
People are doing really well, they are definitely tired, it's hard work to do this climb, but these guys have had a lot of Denali Prep course, big mountaineering trips and other expeditions around the world, I think that will pay off for them in the long run, especially on these longer expeditions. We will give you a call tomorrow when we climb back up the same hill, up to Ski Hill, turn the corner at 11,200 foot camp and we'll give you a call when we grab our shovels. We figured out our team name. We wanted to be called Ground Hog's Day but since we made it on the glacier, it's not going to be a repeat like it was in the movie. We are talking about changing the name, we'll be in touch.
June 12th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team V
Hello cyberfans and hopefully this is another bright spot in your virtual day, this is your good pal Brennan Brunner from the Rat Patrol, Alp 5. Two in a day is a remarkable thing since I am just getting the cell phone to start working now, but I just wanted to let everyone know that we are still well and perched, tomorrow we are heading up to the 17,200 foot camp. Boy we have heard three weather forecasts and they all say something different. We're going to get up about 6 and we should be out at about 8, 8:30, and we should see our good friends up top. We've only got two more days to go at 17, and then on to the summit. Very difficult weather conditions so far, and trying to get ourselves into the window of opportunity is the best we can do.
Things are well in the group. A few things, Kent did in fact leave today. I have a lot of respect for people who come to the mountains and can be very honest with themselves. He had a very physical trip, and he put in quite a bit, he was a great team member, and we are going to miss him and wish him the best of luck.
On the subject of missing people, one of the reasons I am calling is (I believe our cybercast is turning into some sort of 'love line,' but hey, who am I to discourage the pursuit of true love...) Two messages here, "Hi to the love of his life from Bill. Thanks for your love and support. and not to be outclassed, "Lots of hugs and smackeroos to Vivian and Dixie from Neal. I miss you guys. We'd like to know that we are thinking of you and hopefully you are thinking of us.
Stopped snowing for a bit, we had a fairly clear day, we did go out to the Edge of The World, which is a spot that looks down on our route so far, we can see basically our approach and a wild 3,000 foot drop. It is there that for using 'evoke' and 'ephemeral' in the same sentence I would nominate as poet laureate for the group the whole trip. The laureate will be decided at 17,200 feet. So one more reason to keep tuning in. Speaking of turning in, the sun is sinking behind the ridge an I think I am going to head to my bed. Wish you all well, hi to my mom and my love to her and all those I know, Rat Patrol out.
June 12th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team IV
Hello hello, this is Erik Barnes with Team High Five and we are still sitting at 17,200 feet today. The weather is actually looking a lot better than it has been, the forecast calls for some good weather again tomorrow. Today the weather, we actually had some clue skies and some sun, but significant wind going up to Denali Pass. So we are looking for better weather tomorrow and we are going to try and do our summit bid tomorrow, so wish us luck, Today we had Kami and Lien were out doing some yoga, Neal was kind of resting in the Posh house, Nat and Trey were kind of mulling around on the ridge and my sister and her crew came down with a hula hoop, so we had a huge hula hoop session amongst everyone. So spirits are really high, and we're looking for a great day tomorrow, so wish us luck in the am. You should hear from us hopefully from the top, but we'll be back with you later, out.
June 12th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team V
Hey greetings, cyberfans, this is Brennan with the Rat Patrol, calling happily from the 14,200 foot camp here on Denali. We had a little trouble with our cell phone, I apologize we haven't been in better contact. At the last time I know I got through we had just carried up from the 11 camp and then an eventful two days. We followed that up with a back carry, a rest day and then we have been hit by weather. We managed to on the first day, carry through to place a cache up to 16.2 but as you might have heard from the Alp group ahead of us, we have been just plastered by snow and wind. Luckily we have the best walls here at 14 camp, thanks to a number of other people and spirits are quite high.
We've been entertaining ourselves; Nigel ate an undue amount of summer sausages. The three tenors, Neal, Nigel and David have been working on a little bit of an act for 17 camp and we also have a morality puppet show by Patrick that he will put on at 17, so there is quite a bit of anticipation here.
It's the first clear day we've had in some time. We're just going to let things settle up a bit, spirits are good, we're drinking lots of water. A few avalanches near here, so it seems like a day of settling would be pretty good. Also sadly, the Alaska Range is a fairly arduous range to ravel through and we are going to lose a member of our group. It is of course too bad but Kent has taken some wear and tear, no real harm, but he is going to find a ride out of here soon. His spirits are good, it's a beautiful place, but this is a hard mountain to climb, takes a lot of of the body.
We are thinking a lot about the people back home. Nigel wants to say to Ingrid, how much he loves her and misses her. David wants to say he misses Denise, Tilly and Rock and loves them very much and can't wait to see them after the climb. And certainly we have been pinned in our tents the last couple of days and it does give you a lot of time to think about the people behind. I know that on a carry up from 11, we did see a husband and wife team they were bickering about how the rope was tight and we sat and talked about how that would never happen to any of us, there are so many people that we would love to share this with and like to have with us and share this with and think about them a lot. I know that you are reading this and we wish you well.
Our plan at this point is to move up to the 17.2 camp tomorrow and we will see how it goes. If this high pressure holds and we are feeling good, it looks like the window of opportunity is opening for us. Certainly it's open for the Alp group ahead of us, they are great people and we wish them well, but now that the phone is working we'll be a little bit more in touch, so stay tuned and this will be the wrap for awhile.
June 12th, 2004. 10,300 feet. Team VI
Hello all of you out there in cyberland, this is Traverse calling in for Team Walk in the Park. We had a beautiful sunny morning this morning and we had a great breakfast of French toast which Eric cooked up for us and currently we have moved down from our camp at 11,00 feet to about 10.3 at Kahiltna Pass and we dug up a cache. So we are packing up our sleds and getting ready to carry back up to 11. And tomorrow, weather permitting of course, we are hoping to move up to Windy Corner at about 13.2. Things are going great, the team is in really good spirits and we do have a few personal messages to send out.
Mike T. says Sue, Love you and miss you, thanks you and everyone for their support, the trip is awesome. And the entire team would like to wish an early Happy Father's Day to all of their dads out there. Mike L. says "To Russell, Liz, Bill, the scenery is spectacular here. I have great mountaineering companions. Soon Russell and his cousin Matthew and I , will do some winter mountaineering. Tell mom and dad that I love them and I am safe with excellent guides. David, "love to all the ladies." Eric Remza says "To my darling nieces Megan Lee and Brenda Rose, (?) uncle Eric loves you." So all is going well here, expect to hear from us tomorrow.
June 12th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team VII
Hey this is Ben Billings calling with an update. It's about 8:00 in the morning and we have finally had our window of opportunity to fly out of Talkeetna. Everybody is extremely enthusiastic. We'll be landing on the airstrip this morning, repacking our gear in to sleds and towing our food and start heading up. We'll probably be out of touch until we get to above 10,000 feet, where the cell phone will be working again, so best wishes to all and look forward to talking to you soon, by bye.
June 11th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team VII
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson with Alpine Ascents #7. Yup, that's right we have another night in Talkeetna. Day three complete. It's 9:00 in the evening and we're bringing everybody to the hotel right now. We spent about 10 hours waiting around on the tarmac for the weather to clear. Tonight at about 8:00 the weather finally broke, they got five planes up in the air and got climbers to the glacier and it closed up that quick. So tomorrow we're on top of the list for flights, hopefully the weather clears and everyone out there in cybercast land needs to send some good energy up into Talkeetna and the Alaska Range to improve the weather for us. But until then we are going to get a good night's sleep, until then bye.
June 11th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team IV
Hello Hello, this is Erik Barnes with Team High Five from 17,200. Another stellar weather day, we are having probably 35-40 knot winds up here. At the moment we are getting some beautiful sunshine coming down here. The ridgeline of the West Buttress is just piling. We had a nice dinner, barely holding the Posh tent up and looking up this is actually the first time we've been able to see it in the last three days, you can see the wind just pouring over here. Anyways we're just kicking here. Everyone is doing rally well, spirits are really high, everyone is holding on and just waiting for the good weather to come in. So everyone back home reading this, just kind of put in some good weather vibes and hope it all goes well.
I have a special message here from Kami. It's a birthday wish from 17,200. To my daughter Bernie (?), although we may be apart on your special day, a mother's love is never far away, happy big 2 and she says I love you and really miss you. Another little message from Erik to my family in New Zealand and the US, I just want to say hi and I'm looking forward to seeing you soon. This is Erik signing out with a very windy evening, hopefully we'll have better weather tomorrow.
June 11th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team VI
Hello this is Eric Remza with Team Walk in the Park. We are doing our move from our 8,000 foot Camp up to our 11,000 foot Camp. We broke camp this morning, got up at about 3:00am and got moving around 5:30 and right now we are just taking a break by our cache at 10,000 feet where we were yesterday. We're going to continue on up to our 11,00 foot camp and set up our new camp up there and then we're going to hit the sack because we're going to be pretty tired by then.
Like to give some hellos from our group. First of all we have Rick, Hello Angie, I love you and I miss you and I am having a great time. Dan: I love you Lembi, with all my heart. Traverse: Hello Anne I can't wait to get home and rub your pregnant belly, I love you. Steve: Hello to Carrie, Steve and Chris, I love you all. That's all for now, we'll give messages from the rest of our group at the next cybercast.
Other than that the weather down here has been kind of on and off. There seems to be weather system coming out of the North and the last couple of days, down low it's been really whiteout conditions, earlier in the day and the sun kind of comes out and it gets clear again. But definitely on the upper mountain, there's definitely high winds, and quite a bit of lenticular build up. Right now not a lot of fun up there, really windy, so we hope all of the other Alpine Ascents groups are faring well up there and well as the other groups. This is Eric Remza signing off with Team Walk in the Park.
Also a quick note of explanation of our team name. We don't want you to think that because of our name we are at all non-chalant, the we think it's a "walk in the Park", but we are in the Denali National Park and we are walking so that's where the name came from in case you were wondering. We'll talk to you tomorrow, ciao.
June 10th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team VII
This is Ben Billings checking in for Alpine 7. After our skills review yesterday at the airport we found that we were weathered in at the airport unfortunately. Last night found us at the Fireweed Station with Tom & Hobbs, and we enjoyed bocce ball, a fine dinner and spent the night. Great food and conversation makes for a stronger expedition. Unfortunately it looks like we are weathered out again today, but spirits are high and like I said we are only getting stronger. Talk to you soon.
June 10th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team VI
This is Traverse Zink calling in for Alp 6. After some thought the team decided to go with the name Team Walk in the Park. The team guides are Eric and Traverse, Mike, Steve B, Rick, Dan, David and Steve L. So far the trip is off to a great start. After a sunny and beautiful flight in we've been making our way up the glacier and are currently leaving a cache at 10,000 feet and will then return to our camp at 7,800 feet below Ski Hill. We plan to cybercast again when we reach the 11,000 foot camp tomorrow. This is Team Walk in the Park signing out.
June 7th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team IV
Hi this is Team High Five calling from 14,200 feet on the West Buttress on Denali. It's 11:30pm on Monday Night and we are getting ready to move up to 17,200 feet tomorrow, weather permitting. Today we enjoyed a rest day, got lots of sleep and lots of food, we had a great re-energizing session.
I have a couple of personal messages Trey says hi to Hilda, Hi Honey, having a great time, David dropped the phone off Edge of World, please wing it. Matt says he has decided to live on Denali, and Kami says thanks for the iPod honey, it works great. That's it for Team High Five, we'll be in touch soon.
June 7th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team III
Hello this is Alpine Ascents III, the Alaskan Air Force Gas House Gorilla Team. We have successfully landed in Talkeetna, AK and we are partying at the West Rib. We would like to express our thanks to everyone for tuning in to watch our expedition and follow as we summited the highest point in North America. We send all of our love back to friends and family at home, we will see you soon.
June 6th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team V
Hark, at long last this is Brennan Brunner with news from Alp 5 on Denali, otherwise known as the Royal Alpine Trekking Patrol. We have been moving up this mountain like a rat up a drainpipe. We've made great progress so far, we are calling you here Day 9 from 14,000 feet. I'll just give you a little blow by blow of what's been going on this past week.
Two days at Base Camp and a single carry to 7,800 feet. We made a carry to 10,000 feet, then we moved to 11,000 feet and made a back carry. We spent four nights at 11,000 feet, among beautiful skies and in the company of excellent friends. We just moved up to 14.2 today and this is where the climbing really starts.
This will be a brief dispatch, because we did just roll into camp and some are looking at me suspiciously, I should be building a wall. We have a group of exceptional people gentlemen that become even more classy as we approach the top. Each day we are going to feature a message from the gentlemen, and this day is from Kent, He just wanted to let his wife Maggie know Happy Anniversary!, I love you and I miss you. Yesterday we tried to commemorate this day, but I just don't think we did it justice. Stories to follow and you won't be disappointed. This is Rat Patrol out.
June 6th, 2004. 16,200 feet. Team IV
Hey this is Erik with Team High 5, I think everyone wants to say hello. (A chorus of hellos and cheers) I think that was a jubilant hello. Just in the last day here, we have done our carry up the fixed lines on the headwall today, we caught the early morning to afternoon sun to keep us warm while we were going up, so it actually started out really hot then we got some cloud layers coming in and we had nice and perfect climbing conditions. Snow was great and the headwall was also in perfect conditions. Huge steps going up, almost like a ladder, and I think that everyone had some fun playing on the fixed lines today. We are now sitting at 16,200 feet, we just did our cache, and everyone is actually looking really good and strong. It's cooling down, People are starting to put on their coats, getting a little food in them, a little water.
Again we are having a great time up here, I think we need another yoo hoo. "Yaah Hooo!" This is Team High 5 heading down for a special dinner. Matt wants to say hi to Tanya and all the family. Trey says he loves his family and says hi to everyone. Kami says hi to the divas (?) in San Fran. Update on Sister William's Team, my sister Beth's team, they are at 16,200 feet and moving to 17,200, looking strong with hula hoops in hand. This is Erik Signing out.
June 6th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team VI
Hello this is Eric Remza with Traverse Zink with Alpine Ascents Team 6, calling you from the Talkeetna airstrip. Getting ready to launch our expedition in just a bit here. I'd like to introduce the group real quick. We have David, Mike, Steve L, Steve B, Dan, and Rick. We are at the airstrip and ready to launch. Once we do get to the SE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, roughly 7,200 feet, we are going to be at Base Camp for a couple of days, before we begin moving up the glacier. It will probably be another 4 or 5 days until you hear from us, don't be alarmed, no news is good news. This Is Eric signing off.
June 6th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team III
This is Alpine Ascents III, checking in from Camp 4 during our sweep down the mountain after a successful summit yesterday. We hope to be at the Fairview Inn by midnight tonight. Matt would like to say hi to Ally, he'll see you soon. Todd says hi to Winslow, Conan says hi to Jen and Taiga, we love you all. We're happy to see you guys soon, summit day was successful and we're psyched to be heading home.
June 5th, 2004. Summit. Team III
Hello this is the Alaska Air Force Gas House Gorillas Team, reporting a successful summit at 3:15, June 15! Members of the summit team include Matt Auberger, Jeff and Felicia Mohr, with guides Todd Passey and Conan Bliss. Thanks for the rally chicken. We're going to head out soon, head back to camp and get some much neede3d sleep. Talk to you tomorrow.
June 5th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team IV
Hi this is Erik Barnes calling in for Team High 5. After a grueling game of Rock, Paper, Scissors yesterday, Kami beat Matt and led us down from our carry at 13,600 feet. By the time we got to our camp there was a fine layer of clouds blanketed our camp. Everyone is feeling great acclimatizing well, and were really strong well in our efforts to move to Camp IV, at 14,200 feet yesterday.
Yesterday's weather was even more spectacular than the day before. We were greeted by clear blue skies and stellar view of the glaciers pouring out of the north and great views of Foraker and the Kahiltna. This was a truly exceptional day. We made camp in the early evening in warm temperatures, only to have the sun set behind the West Buttress and immediately go down about 10-15 degrees and started freezing everything. The team did exceptionally well on the move and are preparing ourselves for the next stages of the climb. The altitude is higher and the temperatures are lower, and it is here that everyone will try to dial in their personal systems and work on their mental game. We have a strong team and are having fun. Today is a well-earned day of rest and a short back-carry to 13,600 for our cached gear.
Today's weather is showing Denali's best side once again. So if everyone back home send their positive weather energy we'd all be very grateful for our future climb. Dan would like to say that the sunshine on Mount Hunter last night at 11:40 in the evening was the icing on the cake. It was definitely a magnificent alpenglow on Mount Hunter last night. Just wanted to pass on a note to Miranda, Hulloo and and I love you. This is Erik with Team High Five, out.
June 4th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team III
Hello this is The Alpine Ascents Alaska Air Force Gas House Gorillas Team calling in from 17,200 feet from the top of the West Buttress of Denali. We're poised to strike for the summit any day if the weather is good. We have 6 days of food and fuel. The group had a strong carry today up from 14,200 feet to 17.2 and made it in mid-afternoon. It's been a beautiful day, snow conditions are great. We're hoping for two good days in a row of good weather so we can have a summit attempt. We'll call you tomorrow with a good report, until then this is Alpine Ascents III out.
June 4th, 2004. 9,600 Feet. Team V
We have had a radio report from Team V, they are doing great and are about 1 day behind Team IV. They have been experiencing extremely poor cell reception for the first few days, not an unusual occurrence. They should begin sending regular dispatches when they reach 14,000 feet as is usually the case.
June 4th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team I
This is Eric Larson calling with a final wrap-up from Talkeetna. I'd like to thank everyone for our expedition, it was 20 days of long hard pushing to the summit, but we didn't have a really good chance. 6 days at High Camp let us have a good chance to get to know each other on this expedition though. I'd like to thank Chip, Greg, Rob for holding out and appreciate all the family and friends' support. This is Eric Larson signing out until next time on Denali, thanks again.
June 3rd, 2004. Talkeetna. Team I
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson giving you a call on the 3rd. This morning we flew out with some clear skies. It snowed all night and the day before and we were trapped at the airstrip for a little bit, but the wind started to blow a little bit and cleared the clouds out of the valley. The crew started flying off at around 8:30 this morning, and we got into town and it was a big hurry to eats lots of food and call everybody at home, but it finally wound down with some dinner at Cafe Michelle's. Everybody enjoyed a nice end of expedition meal of steak and potatoes and beer and a lot of company. Things went well, it took us about a day and a half to travel from 17,200 foot camp down to Base Camp at 7,200.
June 3rd, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team III
Hello this is Alpine Ascents calling in again from 14,000 feet. The sun is shining today, people are out skiing on the fresh snow that fell yesterday. The team didn't move up to 17,000 foot camp, instead we had another rest day. Unfortunately Craig and Jason left the group and headed down the mountain. But Matt Felicia and Jeff along with both guides are going to move up tomorrow if the weather holds. All other members of the team are fine, this was a decision by the two individuals.
Note here from Craig to the American Lung Association contributors. It is with pride and great sorrow as I begin my descent today after my maximum climb of 16,500 feet. It seems that the cold has jolted my asthma, with spasms the worst I have experienced in 45 years. It is heartbreaking but prudent and I pass the torch to my incredible son, Matt to stand on top of North America for Asthma Research. Thank you so much for your support and generosity. The mountain did not beat me, my asthma did.
Matt Would like to send his love to Hallie, Conan would like to send his love to Jen and Taiga, Todd sends his love to Winslow. (Poor reception for the rest)
June 3rd, 2004. 13,600 feet. Team IV
Hello Hello this is Team IV at 13,600 feet. We made our carry today, we cruised around Windy Corner, it's just gorgeous out today and probably the first day in probably a couple of weeks that we've actually had some really decent weather. We can see the top of the mountain, the ridgeline is looking excellent, the West Buttress Route is looking good, the West Rib is looking awesome. I think everybody had a great day today, let's get a little hello from everyone today: (lots of ensuing whoops, yahoos and yeehaas). Trey is saying hello to Hilda, and the kids. Lien(?) is saying Happy Birthday to his mother today. Nate says hi to Glen, Joyce and Phil. (Poor reception for several personal messages) And I say hello to Miranda and I love you. We are cruising back down to 11 tonight and going to have a nice little dinner and see how tomorrow shapes up, so we'll look forward to talking to you later.
PS. For Erik's family: "My sister's climbing team, sister Williams is doing good and they're up at 14,000."
June 2nd, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team III
Hello this is Alpine Ascent Gas House Gorillas Alaska Air Force Team checking in. After a nice rest day at 14,000 feet on Denali, we had a wonderful pancake breakfast with fried ham and apple pancakes. Lots of conversation. And a snowstorm today kept us in our tents which also enlightened conversation in the tents. Adam if you are out there, we need a big call to the rally chicken, we've never needed it more. Also, Weatherstation, we're going to be checking in tomorrow, Thursday night, so have your package ready. We are planning on moving up to 17,200 feet if the weather holds, we'll check back with you then. Hope the weather holds and we send all of our love to family and friends.
June 1st, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team III
Today we made a carry to 16,400 feet. Everybody was feeling strong and healthy. We put in 6 days of food and fuel, and tomorrow we're looking forward to a rest day, we'll check back with you then.
June 1st, 2004. 9,600 feet. Team IV
Hello this is Erik Barnes calling with Team High Five at our Camp at 9,600 feet. We all woke this morning to several inches of new snow, and very limited visibility. White-out conditions are the norm for this area of the Kahiltna, for we are headed to the land of the Ghost Wand. This is and area littered with wands leading to nowhere. Spooky? Nah.
We are all fortified with a good night's sleep and a great breakfast. Halfway with our carry to Camp III the sun came out and warmed us for all of well, about 10 minutes, then the clouds drove in and the snow started to fall once more. Not the light fluffy stuff, but the wet heavy stuff. Our cache placed at Camp II, we headed down to our camp for the night. Right now the clouds have lifted and the sun has just started poking out and we have some nice new skies showing.
Have a couple of personal messages going out, we have Kami saying happy birthday to her mom, Dana says hi to the family and friends and says that unemployment is treating her well. Lien says hi to mom, dad, bro, I'm All OK. And I say Miranda, I love you and good night. And we have one special lullaby, passing on to Kami.
This is the climber's lullaby:
(singing) Lullaby, Lullaby, this is the climber's Lullaby.
(Unfortunately poor cell-reception obscured Kami's spirited rendition, perhaps she will supply a transcript upon her return).
May 31st, 2004. 9,600 feet. Team IV
Hello hello, this is the team formerly known as Alp 4 now, High Five, and that is spelled with five 'i's guys. We have made our move to Camp two at 9.6 today. Everyone is looking real strong and enjoying the beautiful glaciers and snow peaks surrounding us on all sides. We had a nice climb today with light packs and a light sled. Snow conditions were excellent, making for faster traveling. We made camp early this afternoon under a blue sky and it was a very hot sun today. So We made this camp from scratch so everyone had to work really hard to cut blocks and build the snow walls. Kami and Dana spearheaded the wall-building, while Leo Lien, and Trey helped to pack down the snow and set the blocks. The most gratitude has to go to Nat though, as he made one of the finest outhouses on the mountain for us. Excellent views, just a great place to be. Today's musical inspiration has come from the Artist formerly known as Prince, and we have been laughing hard and enjoying each other's company, the Posh has been a great scene for cooking and eating. Now we're off to bed with a whiteout and some beautiful snowfall to put us to sleep.
May 31st, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team II
Hey everybody it's Eric Larson calling you on the 31st, Memorial Day about 9:30 at night. The weather didn't happen for us up there and we ran out of food and fuel after being here for five days, so we packed up camp and we moved down to the 14,000 foot Medical Camp today. It was a long day, backpacks were heavy, people were tired, but they did a good job though, they got down here safely and we had a big pesto pasta meal and they're all in bed tucked away by now, sleeping. Everybody is doing good, hopefully we can make it out tomorrow down to the airstrip at 7,000 feet, and if the weather cooperates we'll be able to grab a flight out of here. We'll keep you informed of what the weather looks like and I'll make sure these guys all call you loved ones as soon as we get out to let you know we arrived. Until then this is Eric Larson with Alpine Ascents Expedition #3 signing off.
May 31st, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team III
Hi this is Todd calling in for Alp 3. We spent a day acclimatizing here at 14. We did a quick, short back-carry it took us about two hours. We left in some extreme heat and by the time we got back it was snowing, but it just made it an enjoyable day. More teams are moving up the fixed lines today and we will be moving up tomorrow. As long as all goes well and the weather stays fair. Predictions for a little bit better weather, we've had definitely some bad weather on the mountain here, lots of snow, but it has made it nice for carrying and not too hot.
A few hellos for people: Craig says hi to Molly Julie Christy, and all the contributors to the American Lung Association. Matt sends his love to Hallie and family, and Johnny Hitchgo(?) Felecia says "Hey" to the Eagle River chicks and Jen. Jeff wants to give a shout out to Jody, Paul, John, Venus, Jerry Ward and to tell Santini to bring it strong this week. Jason says hi to Mom Dad Tif, that he loves you and will talk to you soon. Conan sends his love to Jen and his dog Taiga and Todd sends his love to Winslow and family. We will report back in after our carry tomorrow if all goes well and hope everybody will give us their good vibes for the climb tomorrow, checking out.
May 30th, 2004. Camp I. Team IV
Hello it's Eric Murphy calling in for Alpine Ascents Team 4. Now known as Team High-Five. We are currently sitting fat at Camp I and the confluence of the NE Fork of the Kahiltna. Today we carried to Camp II and cached. We have a beautiful days with some low-lying fog and everybody is doing really good. We've got a few quotes from people, from Kami, she says hi to Bologna and Tyson, Trey says the view is heaven. And Matt says hi to everyone back home. Currently we are getting a poetry reading from Lien and the sun is shining on us. Things looks good. Tomorrow we plan to move to Camp II and get set up for our carry to Camp III. For all you cybernauts this is Alpine ascents Team High Five, over and out.
May 30th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling you again from High Camp. Today is the 30th and it's about 4:00 in the afternoon. Today we woke up to pretty high winds on the ridgeline, clod temperatures, cloud cover, probably 10 below or 0, so we're hoping for the best tomorrow. Tomorrow is our last shot for our summit chance, so it's either up the mountain or off the mountain. Everybody is still doing really well, still stir-crazy, and every time the sun comes out they want to go, but we need a 12-14 hour window to successfully and safely make it up there and back to our tents. So hopefully the wind dies down tonight and we'll get up early in the morning and head up Denali Pass. Till then, we'll hopefully call you from the summit, if not we'll call you to let you know we are heading down and keep you informed of our saga.
May 30th, 2004. 14,200 feet. Team III
(poor reception) Hi, we made it to 14,000 foot Camp. It's beautiful right now, blue skies. Tomorrow we will make a back carry to 13 to get our cache. Everybody is doing well, we'll talk to you tomorrow.
May 29th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team II
We are still at High Camp, waiting for weather. Today is Saturday the 29th, and the weather is half-way decent, off and on clouds, probably 20-30 mph winds up high and colder temperatures, so we decided to hold off for the forecast tomorrow once again. Everybody is doing pretty well, getting a little stir-crazy being in our tents for the past few days, but everybody's health is fine and doing well, passing the time. I would like to pass the phone off to Chip, who wants to say something.
Hi this is Chip and I would like to wish my son a happy fifth birthday. Buddy if everything goes alright, I should be down within a few days and see you in about a week. And when I get there I will give you a celebration in proper fashion.
Alright guys we'll give you a call tomorrow, hopefully from the summit.
May 29th, 2004. 13,200 feet. Team III
Hello everybody out there in cyberland, this is Alpine Ascents 3, the AK Air Force Gas House Gorilla Team. Today we carried 12 days worth of food and fuel to 13,200 feet at Windy Corner. It's not very windy right now, we're heading back to 11.2 for another night of acclimatization.
People would like to say hi to folks back home, specifically we would have Matt saying hi to Steve and Hallie, Craig saying Hi, I love you to Molly, Jason says hi to Mom Dad and Tiffany and Jeff and Felicia are saying hi to Mom and Dad. Conan would like to say hello to Jen and Taiga and sends his love, and Todd sends his love to Winslow. Everybody is doing well and we hope you are too. We'll check in tomorrow when we reach 14,000 feet.
May 29th, 2004. Base Camp. Team I
Hello this is Allen calling on behalf of Team Fat Pack. The team just called from Base Camp and I spoke with Forrest McCarthy and the entire expedition has safely descended to Base Camp, they are just simply waiting out some bad weather, and once that weather clears, and we do expect that to happen soon, they will be on a plane flying back here to Talkeetna. So congratulations to all the expedition team members for sticking it out. If you go back through the cybercasts, you will see that they did spend a lot of extra time at 14. I really think we ought to recognize their fortitude and stick-to-it-iveness and drive to make it to the summit. Congratulations once again and to family and friends they should be one their way home soon.
May 28th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson, it's about 5:30 Friday afternoon on the 28th for this Alpine Ascents II Expedition. Everything is going well, we had some weather this morning and some higher winds up high, so we decided to wait for a better day to summit. We're all just kicking in the tent and relaxing, sort of hard to keep yourself busy when the sun is up and it is light out all the time, but these guys seems to manage really well. Our health is good and our spirits are pretty high, we're hoping for a better window tomorrow, we'll give you a call then.
May 28th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team IV
Hello everyone this is Erik Barnes with Alp 4, calling to check in one more time. The day is definitely looking brighter out here, the weather has cleared up a little bit. One Shot Pass has opened up and we are just waiting for a little clearing at Base Camp today, so all is looking very good for a flight in. We've loaded up they've done their engine checks and everything is looking aok. We have people that are very psyched today. I have to commend everyone, they been doing great, keeping their energy levels up, and we've been covered some great skills here in Talkeetna. So we're definitely going to be ahead as far as the skills review goes, and we are looking forward to a great flight in today, hopefully it will be beautiful. This is Alp 4 standing by for a good flight, so we'll hopefully talk to you on the mountain, Erik, out.
May 28th, 2004. 11,200 feet. Team III
Hello this is Conan Bliss with the Alpine Ascents AK Air Force Gas House Gorilla Team. Everybody is doing well after a snowy snowy night last night, blowing and dumping snow on the tents last night, we dug ourselves out this morning and moved down, picked up our cache at 10,000 feet and moved back up to 11.2 for another night. Everyone says hi to their families, friends and dogs back home, we hope you are all doing well, we'll check in with you tomorrow when we are doing our carry up to 13.5 Today was a good morning, with a big breakfast of omelets, with bacon and vegetables and loads of dehydrated eggs and butter. Check in with you tomorrow.
May 27th, 2004. 17,200 feet. Team II
Today was a rest day for us, it was sort of in and out weather, clouds coming in, clouds moving out, snowing a little bit, we got about three inches up here and now we have a cloud living on top of us, so it's a bit chilly, maybe around 5 degrees. But hopefully if the weather clears tomorrow morning, we'll get up at 7 and start marching at 9:30 for the summit. We're expecting about a 12-hour day and hopefully, with weather and conditions permitting, we'll be able to reach the summit. We'll give you a call from the top tomorrow and let you know how we're doing. For now this is Alpine Ascents II, with Chip Greg and Rob up here at High Camp, we'll talk to you tomorrow.
May 27th, 2004. 11,000 feet. Team III
Hello this is Alpine Ascents III checking in on our move to 11,000 foot Camp at the Base of Motorcycle Hill. Yesterday we had a good carry to 10,000 feet. Tomorrow we'll come back down and pick up our cache at 10,000 feet and have a rest day for the afternoon. We'd like to say thanks for the flyby from TAT, and a reminder that the higher we get, the more money is made for the American Lung Association. A reminder to those folks out there who chipped in money, you know we have to climb the mountain twice because we're doing double carries. Anyway, the team is healthy and happy, Conan sends his love to Jen and Taiga. Todd sends his love to Winslow and Matt sends his love to Steve and Hallie. Craig sends his love to Molly, we'll check in tomorrow, until then Happy Trails.
May 27th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team IV
Hello everyone this is Alp IV calling. Unfortunately we are still calling from TAT at the airport here, just hanging out. It's another cloudy day, the weather at Base Camp is pretty unstable. So so far they've been getting some clear conditions, immediately followed by some fog immediately followed by clear, immediately followed by fog. So unfortunately they are not flying in those unstable conditions and we are still hanging out here eating some food, we just did a run for some coffee and we've just been practicing our crevasse skills. So we're hanging tight and waiting to fly in, this is Alp IV standing by.
May 27th, 2004. 17,200 Camp. Team I
Hi this is Doug Goodfellow with the Fat Pack on Denali. Forrest has generously but somewhat suspiciously given me the opportunity to do the cybercast. Fat Pack had an epic day yesterday. Woke up looked up Denali Pass, it looked very clear, we'd get ready, clouds would roll in, we'd tone down a bit, finally though, the most fearsome of our feathery friends floated away, and Forrest said the game was on. So we headed up Denali Pass, I think with about half the population of Talkeetna, AK along with us to keep us company.
Note to Gordon: if you are looking for the snow pickets, Forrest had most of them with him, and we placed them generously along the route, very much appreciated by everyone. Up to Denali Pass, headed up towards the summit, past Arch Deacon's Tower, we had two rope teams. The first rope team of Forrest, Bryn, Mark, Doug and Amy, after about an 11:30 start, summited Denali triumphantly at 8:00. Weather up to the summit was wonderful. Weather after the summit was epic, so we stayed for all of about 45 seconds I think, and flipped around.
The other rope team of Trevor, Dianette, Rick, and Matt. I think Matt put in perhaps the most courageous performance of the day. Matt was kind of smacked with a big case of nausea and headache at Denali Pass. He was bound and determined to summit though, so they trudged forward. Finally at the base of Pig Hill, the last bit before you do get to the summit, Matt could go no further at that point. We picked him up on our rope team on the way down, got back into camp. Trevor Rick and Dianette summited I believe at about 9:00 that same evening. We all got back into Camp, tired hungry, thirsty, but quite elated. The task now is to get down the hill successfully, but after all the tribulations we've had with the weather and the wind and the conditions, we are all very very grateful to have had the opportunity to summit and looking forward to getting back down to Talkeetna for some home-cooked meals. This is Doug with Alp I, Fat Pack, out.
May 26th, 2004. 14,200 Camp. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling you from High Camp on Denali. It's 17,200 feet. Today is the 26th, we rolled in around 4:30 today and left our 14 Camp around 9:30. It was a pretty good push, the boys did really well, they're definitely really tired right now, a lot of hard work, but we're in good position right now, we've got a lot of walls around our tents and we're getting hot drinks done right now and we're rolling on to dinner.
Tomorrow if the weather fits, we will definitely take a rest day, and the day after on the 28th, we would try for the summit if the weather is permitting. This is Alpine Ascents Team Six Pack minus two now, signing off.
May 26th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team IV
Hello from Talkeetna! This is the crew of Alp 4. Everyone arrived today in great spirits for the beginning of our grand adventure on Denali. Our guide team on Denali 4, (hopefully we'll find a good name soon) consists of myself Erik Barnes, Eric Murphy, Dan Starr and our supporting members and the lead climbing crew is Lien Choong Luen, Trey Desinberg, Dana Gerrity, Nate Smelser, Kami Semick, and Leo Rub. Today was the beginning of our first day and hopefully many more exciting days to come. The team met early this morning for a grueling fun-filled day. We started the morning celebrating Dan's 30th birthday with fine cinnamon rolls from the Roadhouse, very delicious actually. We followed that with a nice group gear check and little talk from the National Park Service about how everything works up on the mountain. The Park Service is doing such a great job this year.
Then we went out for yet more food, some great pizza in town. You can definitely see our nice little trend of the food going on here. We're starting to train that energy system early, a little food some more water, a little food and some more water. That will bring up that energy and make us all nice and happy.
We have weighed all of our gear and now we are waiting for the weather to clear, so we can fly in. So this is the beginning of the hurry up and wait game. We are sitting here right now at Talkeetna Air Taxi, just hanging out kind of enjoying the clouds. Everyone is super excited and I guess we are learning the first lesson of Denali pretty early. Definitely the weather will call the shots here. We are waiting and hopefully we'll talk to you soon.
May 26th, 2004. 10,000 Feet. Team III
Hello this is Conan Bliss and Todd Passey. It's the Alaskan Air Force Team, doing a carry up to 10,000 feet up near Kahiltna Pass. The group is strong, we'll return to our camp back down at the base of Ski Hill for one more night and tomorrow make our move up here and get our cache. Everybody is doing well and says hello to the folks back home. Until then, signing out.
May 25th, 2004. 14,200 Camp. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling you on a Tuesday evening. Today it was a bit overcast, light snow, but real calm, we did our carry up to 16,200 foot cache above the fixed lines, and deposited a bunch of food and fuel and some minor equipment up there, to get us situated for our summit push. We're going to sit at 14 camp until we get a weather window, and then we'll fire up to high camp and then on to the summit.
Everybody is doing pretty good. Tony from New York, he's having a little trouble sleeping the past couple of days and has decided to turn around and go back down, so Team Six Pack is currently working out the logistics to get him down safely and continue our climb up. Everyone is is doing well, stay tuned for more news tomorrow.
May 25th, 2004. 17,200 Camp. Team I
Good morning cyber climbers. This is Trevor with Team Fat Pack at 17,200 feet. It's a beautiful morning here, the summit of Denali is out and clear. Beautiful day, windless, partly cloudy skies. You can look below and see Hunter and Foraker. We successfully made our move to 17.2 yesterday, a 12-Hour day. Moving up the fixed lines and along the ridge and recovered our cache that we had left several days before. Everyone slept well last night, everyone is feeling well, just a few minor headaches and some minor nausea, but overall our time at 14,000 feet has helped us acclimatize very well here. Taking a rest day today here, and we're going to head for the summit tomorrow and if that window doesn't work out we have two more days of food and fuel after today. There's been some successful summit attempts in the past couple of days and it's nice to see that the mountain is starting to let people to the top, hopefully our weather is changing.
May 24th, 2004. 14,200 Camp. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling from the 14,200 foot Camp on Denali. Today is the 24th around 5:00. It's a beautiful day up here, the clouds have dissipated and the weather improved a lot. A lot of people moved up today. Unfortunately we were scheduled for a rest day today, so we did some skills, fixed line practice and running belays. Just organizing our equipment that we need to get up to high camp, roughly 7 days of food and fuel are going to be carried up tomorrow up the fixed lines and cached at 16,200 feet. The crew is doing really well, their attitudes are really strong and I think if we get a good weather window we can be up and out of here soon enough.
Yesterday we did a back carry in some cold and snowy weather and it was a really short trip, roughly two hours round trip and then just hung out the rest of the day, drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of food, getting sleep and energy to go back up. We'll get back to you with more information tomorrow, this is Eric with Team Six Pack signing out.
May 24th, 2004. Talkeetna. Team III
Hello this is Conan Bliss with the Alpine Ascents' Air Force Team on May 24th. We are going to load up the Beaver here shortly and head onto the glacier. With us we have Jeff and Felicia, Matt and Craig, and Jason with Guides Todd Passey and Conan Bliss. The weather window opened up and we're hoping to get to the glacier with the whole team today. We'll check in with you a couple of days after Base Camp.
May 23rd, 2004. 14K Camp. Team I
Good morning everyone this is Amy calling in for Team Fat Pack up here on Denali. Sorry we didn't get in touch with you yesterday, but we didn't get back to our camp until well after 10pm thank goodness for these long Alaskan days. Yesterday we headed up to above Washburn's Thumb, about 17,000 feet and put in our High Camp cache. We had an absolutely purely spectacular day. It was brilliant and windless and offered outstanding expansive views of Foraker and Hunter and everything else was below a sea of clouds, but we just looked endlessly out into the Alaskan landscape.
We successfully cached up above 17,000 feet, enjoyed our first bout up the fixed lines and we all returned to Camp late but safely. We are now looking for another great weather window like yesterday. The weather is on the decline but we are optimistic. So that's all from here, aside from the fact that we'd like to give you the answer to the previous trivia question. The answer was B. 'Fat' Pack stand for Forest Amy and Trevor. Take care we'll talk to you soon.
May 23rd, 2004. 14K Camp. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling you from the 14,200 foot Camp on Denali. We made it up to medical camp today, roughly around 4:30 and hurried up and put our tents up, the weather is really good right now, but they're expecting some winds to come in, so we built some walls this afternoon after dinner and got everybody in bed. People are doing really well, but pretty tired. Tomorrow we should be able to go back down to 13 and grab our cache and we'll be ready to acclimatize and get higher on the mountain when the weather gets better. This is Eric Larson signing out.
May 21st, 2004. 14K Camp. Team I
Hello cyber climbers, this is Trevor from Alpine I, up here at 14,200 feet on Denali. Today is Friday the 21st and we are successfully installed here at the 14,000 foot Camp. We've carried from 11.2 after having several weather days down there coming around Windy Corner for our final time, it wasn't bad at all. We picked up our cache there and after having some more weather days at 14.2 we are ready to carry up to 16.2 and leave a cache there. We've enjoyed warm temperatures but high winds and right now it's snowing and low visibility. We've successfully maintained our ultimate shelter, which was a challenge in the wind, but the whole group pitched in and did well there. We've had surprisingly few headaches for being at high altitude.
Everyone is healthy, doing well, we'll-hydrated, well-fed and I though I'd just leave you with a piece of trivia. We've been enjoying trivia so much and that is What does Fat-Pack stand for? Is it A. Fit And Trim Pack, B. Forrest, Amy and Trevor, or C. Finally At the Top. Answer in the next episode.
May 21st, 2004. 13,800 feet. Team II
This is Andy Rich calling in for the Denali II expedition. We have managed to get our cache up to 13,200 feet around Windy Corner, which wasn't windy at all today. The wind is coming up a bit, but we were able to travel smoothly and drop our cache here. We're going back down to 11,000 feet tonight, where our Camp is and hopefully move up to 14,000 tomorrow. Everyone seems to be moving well and acclimatizing well and hopefully the weather will hold long enough for us to get to 14,000 tomorrow. That's all for now, signing off.
May 20th, 2004. 14K Camp. Team I
Good afternoon, this is Amy calling in for Team Fat Pack up here on Denali. And we're pleased to report that we had a successful journey up to Camp 14 yesterday after being stormed in at our 11,200 foot camp for three days. What we had formerly called Hurricane Hill, turned into Windless Corner, so we had a nice journey and were even able to pick up our cache. So we had a heavy load up to 14, but everyone endured very well. 14 greeted us pleasantly, however this morning we awoke to some very high winds so we'll be spending our day cutting snow blocks and making snow walls so there's a lot of architecture going on at this Camp. Everyone is doing well and we're looking forward to carrying higher up the mountain so we can establish camp at 17 for a summit bid sometime later this week. Cheers!
May 20th, 2004. Camp I. Team II
Hey this is Eric Larson calling again for Team #2. Today is the 20th. We made it back down to our 10,000 foot cache and spent the night at Camp II at 11,200 feet. Got there around 4:30 and it was a beautiful afternoon/evening. We set up camp and relaxed, hydrated. This morning we had French toast and bacon, had a lot of hot drinks and enjoyed the good weather. We cruised down to our cache and are going to carry it up tonight followed by a meal of ribs and mashed potatoes.
To introduce the team, we've got Rob from Chicago, he's been climbing the 7 summits and this is one of his last ones. We got Antonio from New York City but originally from Italy. Then we've got Greg from Des Moines, and Chip from Fargo North Dakota. The team is looking pretty good, Andy and myself are doing well also. We haven't figured out a name yet for our team, I think for now we'll call ourselves the Cool Six Pack. until then I'll let the team figure it out and we'll change the name. This is Alpine Ascents Team II until tomorrow when we carry up another cache to 13,400 feet.
May 19th, 2004. 10,000 feet. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson and we are at 10,000 feet again. Just picking up the saws and the shovels and continuing up to our 11,000 foot camp, Camp II. It's a beautiful day today, the clouds broke, you can see most of the Kahiltna, so we're sitting on the very top of Kahiltna Pass. The team is doing great. Last night we had a leisurely dinner of burritos and back up for another hard day of pulling and lifting the sleds. We'll give you a call tomorrow when we swing back down to pick up this cache and get ready to move up to 14. This is Eric Larson signing off and tomorrow we'll introduce the team.
May 18th, 2004. Camp I. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson with Alpine Ascents Team #2. We talked to you last night off of sat phone at the bottom of ski hill and today we carried our cache up to 10,000 feet. It was bad visibility, probably three to four inches of snow fell today and the forecast looks like more of the same. We did great time up to 10,000 feet, the whole team is doing really well, it was a good shake-up climb, and tomorrow we'll move up to 11.2 This is Eric signing out and we'll give you another report tomorrow afternoon.
May 17th, 2004. Camp I. Team II
Hey everybody this is Eric Larson calling you from Camp I on the Kahiltna Glacier. It's the 17th of May at about 10:00 at night. We arrived at Camp I a little earlier today. It took us about 5 hours to travel across the glacier and it was a long hard pull. We had fresh snow, about 6 inches on the ground and it's been snowing for about two day. We flew in on the 15th late that afternoon and on the 16th we did a glacier travel/rescue review and organized our gear. Tomorrow hopefully, if the weather's holding, we'll have a chance to climb up a little higher and bring a cache at about 10,000 feet. Everybody's doing pretty good and we'll get back to you with some more information and what's going on, this is Eric Larson signing off.
May 17th, 2004. Kahiltna Pass. Team I "Fat-Pack"
Hey everybody out in cyberland, this is team Fat Pack. Just letting everybody know that we are still doing well We spent a couple of extra days here at 11,200 feet at our camp. We had a successful carry yesterday and on the way down a storm move in and we've been sitting here for about two days watching the snow blow around and we're hoping to get a window tomorrow to move up. We've got our cache ready to go around Windy Corner, so we're just waiting for a weather window to move up to 14,000 feet and hopefully move up to our High Camp after that. So that's all from Forrest McCarthy and the Fat Pack, signing out.
May 15th, 2004. Kahiltna Pass. Team I "Fat-Pack"
Good afternoon, this is Amy calling in again for Team Fat Pack. Today we traded in our snowshoes for crampons, our trekking poles for ice axes and our sunglasses for goggles and our sun hats for balaclavas. We just came around Windy Corner which we have renamed "Hurricane Hill" and we have headed for the hills today, we made it up Motorcycle Hill, Squirrel Hill, and then of course our newly named Hurricane Hill. The winds are pretty vicious, but we established a cache and are doing well. We will spend once more night at 11.2 Camp. A big Denali Hello goes out to Annie, Nathaniel and Maria from Doug. We'll talk to you soon, bye.
May 14th, 2004. Kahiltna Pass. Team I "Fat-Pack"
Hello from Kahiltna Pass, this is Amy calling in for Team Fat Pack. Good solid team members for a remarkable climb to our new camp at 11.2. We made it up there in about 6 hours carrying heavy loads so we were rewarded we a leisurely morning and a nice breakfast of strong coffee and French toast. About noon today we descended down to 9,000 feet to retrieve our cache. And plan to work our way around Windy Corner, tomorrow. Everyone is doing very well and we haven't seen too many parties on the mountain so far, we've been traveling a bit in tandem with another group of climbers and there are no reports of any summits yet on Denali, so we're hoping we'll be some of the first folks up there. A big hello goes out to "the whiz kids" from Matt and "hi" to Dianette's kids from her. We will check back in tomorrow, cheers!
May 13th, 2004. Ski Hill. Team I "Fat-Pack"
Greetings once again from Ski Hill, this is Amy with Team Fat Pack. Today we are moving camp from 7.8 to 11.2 making this our longest ascent of our Denali journey. We have had low winds and brilliant sun making for steamy glacier travel and lots of smelly polypro. Everyone is doing well, no sunburns, just a few blisters. We'll be spending the next three days at 11.2, acclimatizing, moving loads so that we can move up to our camp at 14 in a few days. So stay tuned tomorrow for more from the glacier, Cheers!
May 12th, 2004. Ski Hill. Team I "Fat-Pack"
Greetings friends family and cyber-climbers. This is Amy calling in for Alpine Ascents' first expedition on Denali for the 2004 season. Henceforth we will be known as the "Fat-Pack" made up of team members Bryn, Dianette, Doug, Mark, Matt, and Rick, led by Forrest and Trevor. We arrived in at Base Camp on schedule, on Mother's Day, but lacking communications, we are sending a belated happy mother's day out to to al the moms out there. We had two great days at Base Camp, practicing sled management and some crevasse rescue. We had good weather and were greeted with sporadic but spectacular views of Alaska's triumvirate of Foraker, Hunter and Denali.
Yesterday we moved camp, carrying altogether about 1,000 pounds of food, fuel and gear up to Camp 7.8 where we will spend two nights. We are currently at the top of Ski Hill, working our way up to a cache point so we can move our camp to 11.2 tomorrow. So all is well, everyone is well-fed, well-hydrated and of the same political mind-set. So we are doing great and we are signing off from the top of Ski Hill, more tomorrow from the Kahiltna, bye.
May 11th, 2004. Talkeetna, AK
From Allen Carbert: The first Alpine Ascents Denali expedition of the 2004 climbing season departed Talkeetna at 2:30 PM, May 9th, for the Kahiltna Glacier in Denali National Park. The team is led by veteran guides Forrest McCarthy, Trevor Deighton, and the highly capable assistant Amy Brennan.
Prior to departure a thorough equipment check took place and after words the expedition members attended a Park Service briefing that was facilitated by a Climbing Ranger. Once completed we loaded two ski equipped aircraft with hundreds of pounds of food and gear and they were on their way.
The team will be calling in their first cybercast from the mountain in several days, when able to send a transmission from the top of what is known as Ski Hill. Ski Hill is a geographical high point on the Kahiltna glacier several miles below Kahiltna Pass. This is the first place on the route where cellular phone communication is possible.
Alpine Ascents is an authorized concessionaire of Denali National Park and Preserve.Return to Top of Page