Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Moving on Up to 11K Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn | July 02, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

There were a lot more clouds around when we woke at 5 AM at 9,500 ft on the Kahiltna.  As we ate and packed, there was a hint of snow, but we still could see a good distance down the glacier and there was a sense that we were just getting the normal flow of weather that likes to hang about 10,000 ft Kahiltna Pass -the divide of the Alaska Range in these parts.  We were roped and plodding into the murk by ten minutes after seven.  As with the past two days, we wore snowshoes even though the surface was frozen up and supportable.  Snow fell from time to time in our first hour of moving toward the Pass, but then we did climb out of the flow of cloud when we turned the corner at the top end of the glacier.  As expected, the last pull into camp was a tough one with our heavy loads, but everyone did well and seemed quite satisfied to arrive at 11,000 ft at 11 in the morning.

We were actually surprised to see a few dozen tents around camp, having gotten used to not seeing so many people in the last few days.  It makes sense though as a number of teams had come on the mountain in the days before we’d gotten on and we all tend to slow things down when we get to 11,000 ft.  With that in mind, we’ll attempt to carry a load of gear and food to around Windy Corner tomorrow but then we’ll come back down for a second and most likely a third night at 11K.  We want our bodies to catch up with the altitude before we make the big jump to 14,000 ft.

We did plenty of catching up with friends and fellow guides during the day at this impromptu reunion, but we were particularly pleased to spend a little time with Mike Walter and his team as they came into camp in late afternoon, freshly down from hitting the top yesterday.

Clouds came and went through much of the afternoon and evening, and now at 10:30 PM, it is snowing lightly with no wind.  That blanket of cloud tends to keep the air temperature a little higher than it would otherwise be at such a lofty altitude.  We’ll hope for reasonably clear weather in the morning and that we can go for a climb.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Cloud Layer from 11K Camp

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Comments

Cathy!!! we are so proud of you!!!! keep climbing and enjoy this once in a life experience!!!

love Kae and Caroline

Posted by: Kae on 7/3/2012 at 6:11 pm

Hi Brian, It’s great to look at the beautiful snowy mountains that you are climbing, while we are in a triple digit heat wave in Hotlanta! Hope you and the team have a great climbing day tomorrow.  Happy 4th of July!
Love, Inez

Posted by: Inez Bulatao on 7/3/2012 at 5:54 pm

Uncle D,
I miss you and love you. Good luck and happy 4th of July!
Tasha

Posted by: Tasha on 7/3/2012 at 4:10 pm

Brian and team,  sounds like perfect climbing weather! We are following the blog with great anticipation each day.  Stay safe and warm!

Posted by: Robin Bulatao on 7/3/2012 at 2:25 pm

Go Team Hahn!  Cathy, I am sure you are kicking butt, I am so proud/happy for/in awe of you!!!

Posted by: Monica on 7/3/2012 at 11:30 am

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