Mt. McKinley: Hahn and Team to the Edge of the World

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Solveig Waterfall | July 11, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Another unwelcome pulse of moisture and wind came through in the night.  The wind was far more significant than the new snow as it worked to slab up the substantial snowfall we’d already gotten on the steep walls above.  While things died down and the sun showed up on time this morning, it didn’t take very long for folks to realize we’d suffered a setback in the snow stability department.  But there wasn’t so much that could be done to change that reality and so we made the best of things.  We geared up, roped up and took a hike to the edge of the world, which is what everybody calls the rocks a short distance from camp that mark the edge of the 14,200 ft basin we’re in.  From that edge one can look straight down thousands of vertical feet to the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.  Except we could not, due to clouds and murk, and plowing through above the knee powder made it feel like a little more than a short distance away.  We went for the workout and to keep our minds focused on climbing during this big delay.  And that seemed to work nicely for us.  One could sense the great drop-off and the immensity of Denali’s South Face lurking in the clouds. 
Back at camp, we did more of the things we’ve already been doing so well… eating, drinking, resting, chatting and watching the snowy slopes above when the clouds permit.  What we really need is a few hot, very sunny, stable days to settle the snow.
Several of the teams surrounding us in camp were running low on food and fuel and could wait no more.  They began their descent of the mountain as we were sitting down to dinner.  Things actually cleared up quite nicely about then with calm, blue skies above and a thick sea of clouds below us stretching to all horizons.  It may be a tricky situation but it remains beautiful.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The view from the Edge of the World on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Comments

Hey Mark,
I am really enjoying your trip from sunny Denver!!! Mary and I have been walking everyday! I sure hope the weather cooperates with you. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip! ENJOY! Dorothy

 

Posted by: Dorothy on 7/12/2012 at 6:16 am

Will, I wish I could send you some heat from the glassblowing furnace…the campers are working in the 90’s ea. day. I am just a big salt lick for Nicki when I get home at night. Stay safe! Love you. Jenny and CaliRose

Posted by: Jennifer on 7/12/2012 at 5:47 am

Mark, I have really enjoyed following your expedition - even though you have been stalled the passed few days.  The rest of the country is swealtering in a heat wave while your hoping for a little warmth.  What a difference elevation makes!

Posted by: Bob B on 7/12/2012 at 4:36 am

Brian, another day of relaxation….hope the weather cooperates tomorrow so you and the team can move up and out. The scenery looks beautiful but way too cold for us beach lovers. Connor got picked to sing at the Greg Russell show last night - it was very cute. We miss you and can’t wait to see you soon. Lots of love, kisses and hugs, Robin, Tristan and Connor

Posted by: Robin, Tristan & Connor on 7/11/2012 at 7:53 pm

Mark:  When I looked out the kitchen window early this morning, I saw 2 dear eating your cherry tree. They were so beautiful to watch, but I chased them away. I
enjoy the daily blog and hope things start clearing up for you so you can continue the climb. Weather is still hot here. Wish I could send some your way. Be safe and have fun. Lots of love and kisses, Mary

Posted by: Mary McDonald on 7/11/2012 at 4:06 pm

Stiff upper lip! Things’ll change!

Posted by: Jim R. on 7/11/2012 at 3:56 pm

I’ll gladly contribute some sunshine from western WA, just a couple of days’ worth this heat-wuss is ready for the clouds and rain to return! So may sun shine warmly and friendly on you all, and hopefully it will settle up the snow and make for a nice trek up soon :)

~Emily

Posted by: Emily on 7/11/2012 at 3:26 pm

Thanks for the great shot from the Edge of The World !
I can tell the whole country is covered in a deep blanket of fresh snow. Great visuals. Now here’s wishing you some hot sun to set it up.

Posted by: Blackie on 7/11/2012 at 12:51 pm

Hey Mark - hope you’re not too restless. I hope the weather cooperates soon and you all will be on your way. Hope your hours on St Mary’s Glacier paid off.

Posted by: Mike M on 7/11/2012 at 12:39 pm

P.S. Casey is in town and Olivia is having surgery on thursday, wish we sould send you some of our sunshine!

Posted by: Cheree And Gma and Gpa wilson on 7/11/2012 at 10:59 am

We are enjoying reading about all of your adventures! We hope that the weather is forgiving enough for you to continue and that you get some sunshine!We send you our love and wish you the best of luck!

Posted by: Cheree Rose, Grandma and Grandpa Wilson on 7/11/2012 at 10:56 am

Sounds like you’re getting the ugly weather out of the way early on. Sending warm, warm thoughts to realize the weather conditions that you need for great climbing. Lake Michigan is warming up and lots of swimmers in at Arcadia. Lots of love and good wishes.

Posted by: Carolyn on 7/11/2012 at 9:20 am

to Cathy and team:
hello from St. Louis, MO!!!!!
we are at 96 degree F today
the pictures are awesome!!!! hope the weather cooperates with you guys

love, Kae and Caroline

Posted by: Kae on 7/11/2012 at 8:06 am

beautiful pic; thanks for posting, and be safe! love reading about your team’s progress and your thoughts as you safely guide them.

Posted by: michelle on 7/11/2012 at 7:34 am

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