Frequent storms in early June concentrated traffic into some tight weather windows. Over 100 climbers attempted the fixed ropes in deteriorating conditions on Sunday, June 8. The parties that made it to 17,200 hunkered down until Thursday June 12 which was beautiful - warm(ish), low wind, spectacular visibility. Very good success rate on that day. We left 17,200 at 1 PM Friday and went all the way through to 7,200 base camp at 5:00 AM Saturday.
The trip of a lifetime. Ginger was the resident-mountain-hottie.
This was a real experience. First attempt at June 7th, did not work out because of real strong storm at high altitudes. We went back to Medical Camp.
At June 10th I made it, strong storm again, white out and real low temperature at the summit, my new lithium batteries where only able to take 2 pictures.
Via the West Buttress route. We were so fortunate to climb in June with great weather throughout, the 16 days were absolutely fantastic, a real experience of a lifetime. The scenery was totally amazing, far far better than you can ever imagine it could be.
Even though this is the easiest route on the mountain, it's very important to train hard and be in super shape for the climb. The sled hauling early on can be dreadful, an exhausting week pulling your sled around the glacier. A good training technique for this is to drag a tyre around at home. Once you get to 14200 ft, the route is magnificent and the ridge leading to 17k is breath taking. The earlier you get to 17k, the more days you'll have to wait for a summit opportunity. Good luck...
It took the six of us from Southern California 11 days to climb the big one in May 1983. We had superb conditions with 9 out of 11 days clear, with temperatures down to -37 F. Took 11 days RT from Kahiltna Glacier to the top and back and four days of traveling from/to Los Angeles.
There were 25 people on the mountain, but we were the only US party.
What an amazing mountain!
We have guided this peak 8 times.
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This mountain should not be underestimated, especially if it is your first big climb. The wildcard will be the weather if you are physically prepared. We were turned back at Denali Pass by 100 mph winds adn closing weather. I have many pictures on my web site at www.alanarnette.com
It took us 13 days to get up this beautiful but cold and dangerous mountain. Check out the 7 summits site for a complete tripreport and all the info you need. Also send Denali eCards.
Always rope up as there are too many hidden crevasses. Enjoy the climbing itself, don't focus on the summit only. Shield yourself from the extreme cold and you will find yourself on one of the most beautiful places on earth.