Mt. McKinley:  Okita and Team Cache at 16,600’

Posted by: | May 27, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

We awoke to a clear, cold morning, excited to get our climb up the fixed ropes and onto the West Butress started. With several other guided groups set to climb this morning, we coordinated our departures and ended up being the first big party up the hill, alllowing us to move unhindered by other traffic. This ended up working out great for us because our teamed proved to be up to the task of climbing the steep terrain of the route.

Under perfect conditions, we negotiated the fixed lines that seem so dauntingly steep from camp, and made our way up the Butress to a cache spot at 16,600’. This is a spot higher than most folks cache, yet everyone made it there in good form. At this point the climbers who were still feeling great went on to carry all the way up to 17,200’ camp, a feat that I had yet to be able to do with a group in 20 years! This is certainly a testament to how well our team is doing.

So, after this great success (and incredibly hard work) we are really looking forward to our first rest day tomorrow. Given the amount of energy everyone has given to reach this point, it will be the rest we so deserve to charge back up the batteries in preparation for our last move towards the summit.
I, for one, am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.

Good night,


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