Closure after Denali

It’s been 4 days since coming down from Denali and flying off the glacier. Since then all the gear has been dried, sorted, and divvied up between mountaineering (mostly shipped back home to Florida) and cycling. I have been sleeping and eating a lot, and my waist line, lips and nose skin are quickly returning back to normal.

Of the 9 original clients and 3 original guides only 4 clients and 1 guide remain on the mountain – as I write this they are at high camp (17.000ft) after spending 12 nights (!) at the second highest camp (14.000ft). The others had to descend, either because they weren’t up for the challenge or mostly because they couldn’t extend the trip past the original deadline. Possibly today or tomorrow the remaining group will attempt a summit push. They climbed up to high camp yesterday (June 25), exactly 1 week after we had wanted to but were stopped due to the guide falling sick (June 18). Sitting for almost 2 weeks in a tent not going anywhere around camp – half of that in good weather conditions – this isn’t the mountaineering I had envisioned when signing up for the expedition…

This picture shows the fatigue of just having descended 11.5 hours from Camp 14.000 all the way down to basecamp as well as the disappointment about having invested 2+ weeks of effort and a lot of money without it ultimately paying off with Denali summit due to unfortunate circumstances.

Back at Denali basecamp after 2 unsuccessful weeks on the mountain and a marathon descent

I have uploaded several videos to Youtube and archived the SPOT tracking data for Denali. Everything is now organized and linked from the Denali page. I also added a daily journal there if you’re interested in daily observations…

This marks the end of the Denali episode, at least for now. I need to focus on the upcoming bike ride, in particular the first long stretch, the Dalton Highway from Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks.

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