Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Turn Below the Summit

Posted by: Katie Bono, Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal | June 27, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 20,000'

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
We woke up around 7:30 with clear skies and no winds. We set off towards the summit with all of the crew feeling great. We experienced a little bit of wind and clouds at Denali Pass, but that is pretty normal. The climb was going smoothly and the weather was about as perfect as you can get.  We were about 150 feet below the summit ridge when the clouds came in and blocked out our sun. All of a sudden we heard a crack of thunder and all of the metal around us began to buzz. We hightailed it down to a depression in a feature called the football field where things seemed to be calm. By calm, I mean a whiteout snowstorm came out of nowhere!  We hunkered down and waited to see if things would settle down. When we were certain they would not, we worked our way down the mountain with GPS and some wands that mark the trail. After a fourteen hour climbing day, our whole team is back in camp happy, healthy, and fed having come a few hundred feet short of the summit but without a permanent stutter from electrocution!
Our plan is to rest tomorrow and perhaps give the summit another go in the next few days. We will see.

Goodnight!

RMI McKinley Summit Team 6

An RMI Team descending toward 17,000 ft Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Mike Haugen calls in from 17 camp after their summit attempt.

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Comments

I’m shocked (seriously, no pun intended) to hear about the storm. SO close.  You are all truly amazing and great to hear Mike’s voice.  Cheering you on, thinking about you all, KAC.

Posted by: Kconstantine on 6/27/2013 at 7:02 pm

there will be an other opportunity am sure! glad you are all ok .rest well.lots of love to Lance

Posted by: elisabeth on 6/27/2013 at 4:18 pm

How exciting!!! Nothing like some extreme weather to remind you to respect the mountain! Jack and I here at Landers Headquarters are hoping you get another shot!Glad you’re all safe and sound, and I bet those sleeping bags felt amazing!!!

Posted by: Liz & Jack on 6/27/2013 at 3:50 pm

Better to be safe than to get anyone injured. I think you guys needed a little excitement, as things were going a little too smooth!lol Hope the next ascent meets with a summit conclusion. Love from the “ville”.

Posted by: George on 6/27/2013 at 11:01 am

You are almost there Cindee! Tomorrow is your day.

Posted by: Kristina Markula on 6/27/2013 at 9:02 am

Glad you all are ok! We’re keeping our fingers crossed for better weather and another try at the summit! We’re rooting for you!!!

Posted by: Scottie on 6/27/2013 at 8:14 am

Glad to hear you’re all safe. Been praying for you all to have success and stay safe. Hope you are able to rest up and give it another go. God Bless…

PS - Say hi to Rick.

Posted by: Rob Schwarzberg on 6/27/2013 at 7:53 am

Go Cindee go! You’re so close!! How amazing; You’re amazing!  We can’t wait to hear all about it!

Your Cisco Comms Team

Posted by: Lindy Bartell on 6/27/2013 at 7:38 am

GLAD YOU ARE ALL SAFE!

Posted by: Cindy Haugen on 6/27/2013 at 7:18 am

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