Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team - Good Style to the Top and Back

Posted by: Eric Frank, Tyler Jones | June 16, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

Today was our time to shine; it was our 16th day on the glaciers of Denali and our opportunity to take a shot at the top of North America. Early sun on the tent at high camp, coupled with the solstice less than a week away had the guides up starting the stoves by 7:30am. With the winds moderate and temps near -15F we stalled our departure for the summit bid until 9:45am with the thought of summiting during Alaska’s peak heat of late afternoon. The wind and cold had us in full equipment. We wore face masks, goggles, mittens and climbed in our heavy weight parkas a good portion of the climb.

The guides stressed many times of the importance of self care and the critical nature of getting frostnip or frostbite. All of us had cold hands, feet, and faces a number of times throughout the day, but all of us took responsibility for keeping close eyes on each other and managed to keep the cold injuries at bay.

The climb took our team 7 1/2 hours to reach the summit. Our time plan was perfect as the summit provided some the the lightest winds of the day allowing us to spend just over thirty minutes on the summit expressing emotion, embracing our team mates, and snapping photos of an unforgettable 360 degree view of central Alaska. Given the conditions our team made great time, though we all had to dig deep in our reserves to make an uneventful descent back in our high camp- 11 hours after our departure. Hot drinks, a warm meal and memories from our summit push ended the evening with high stoke and excitement to get down and reunite with our friend, families and loved ones. Every member of the team would like to thank all of you for your support, love, and compassion in letting us fulfill a dream.

Tomorrow we plan to disassemble our high camp and move down the picturesque West Buttress. We will be recovering our cache at 14k and, if weather and energy allow, a descent to 11k for a well deserved rest in what now has become the low country. We look forward to the thick air.

RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Eric Frank & Logan Randolph

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Comments

Congratulations Team!!!  i know it must feel terrific to view 360 degrees from the summit!  Can’t imagine the rush!  Michael, we look forward to hearing all about it.  Mom & Dad

Posted by: Eual/Paula Conditt on 6/17/2012 at 3:45 pm

I am super psyched for you guys.  You kick ass Larry!

Posted by: Justin Halls on 6/17/2012 at 11:00 am

A very big congratulations to you Jeff and the team!!!
“Watched” you summit friday via SPOT.  Safe travels home.

Posted by: JonS on 6/17/2012 at 9:43 am

Congratulations to Jeff and the entire team!  We’re looking forward to seeing your pictures & hearing about your amazing trip when you get home!
Brian, Sharon & Nick

Posted by: Sharon G on 6/17/2012 at 7:05 am

Truly on inspiration!  Way to go team. Michael again you prove to me that anything is possible!  Way to go!  Looking forward to hearing all the stories!

Posted by: Scott on 6/16/2012 at 7:45 pm

Larry, Congrats!  Denali is one of the big boys! Fred, nice to see your still keeping up with the climbing world.

Dave K.

Posted by: dave kolar on 6/16/2012 at 7:18 pm

Congratulations to everyone! Huge accomplishment! Stay safe and focused on the way down,
Ben

Posted by: Ben Alvarez on 6/16/2012 at 4:43 pm

Oh the memories!
An awe inspiring place.
Congratulations! MWHA

Posted by: sHARON on 6/16/2012 at 1:55 pm

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are proud of you!

Posted by: Patrice, Lynda et Loulou on 6/16/2012 at 1:45 pm

What an achievement you all did it, what a great team!  Larry you are Louie’s hero!

Posted by: Debby on 6/16/2012 at 9:03 am

Larry and crew:
CONGRATULATIONS!!!  I am so excited to hear you safely and successfully summitted Mount McKinley.  Larry I want to personally congratulate you.  It is inspiring to me to witness how you have have consciously pursued your goal of reaching the top of McKinley.  Your dedication, persistance and hard work has paid off.  You never gave up!!!  Thank’s for showing me it is never too late to pursue your dreams and achieve meaninful personal objectives.  I encourage you to fully experience and enjoy feeling really proud of yourself.  You have earned it!

Please focus on climbing down safely.

Again, congratulations and thank you!

Fred K

Posted by: Fred Klingbeil on 6/16/2012 at 7:58 am

Way to go everyone. You guys rock!!!!!!!.

Posted by: chris on 6/16/2012 at 7:40 am

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