Mt. McKinley Expedition: Mallory & Team at 11,000’

Posted by: | June 29, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Hello, this is Linden Mallory checking in from 11,000’ on Mt. McKinley.

After five consecutive days of moving camps and loads up the mountain a break was very much in order and we decided to use today as a rest day here at 11 Camp. We savored sleeping in this morning, not emerging until the first rays of sun hit the tents. Much to our surprise after hearing more about a possible low pressure system in last night’s forecast, today has been beautiful. The low hanging clouds of yesterday are nowhere to be found and just a few faint whisps can be seen hanging near mountain tops. We sat around the kitchen this morning exchanging war stories and washing down our breakfast burritos with steaming cups of coffee and tea.

We then took advantage of the nice weather to cover some more training and climbing techniques now that we are moving off of the lower glacier and onto the upper mountain - spending a few hours working with ropes and ice axes. It was a scorcher of a day (at least by Alaskan standards) with the sun beating mercilessly off of the fresh snow. Temperatures were well over 80F in the tents - nothing compared to Tuscon’s 114F but very hot compared to the wind and snow we had previously. The rest of the afternoon was passed relaxing, napping in the tents, reading, and sorting gear in anticipation of our move to 14,200’ camp (“14 Camp”) tomorrow.

Kel and I used today to pull together a little surprise cheesecake for dessert tonight, celebrating not only the rest day but also Paul’s birthday from a few days ago as well as Madhu’s which is today. We had the chance to read all of the blog comments last night, thanks to everyone for their encouragement and support - the team enjoyed hearing from all of you back home. Everyone is doing well, spirits are high and we’ve all benefited from some down time today. We’re hoping that this weather holds and are eager to move up to 14 Camp tomorrow.

RMI Guide Linden Mallory

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Hey Willie, I was just going through some things and I realized I forgot to lend you the dutch oven. How did you make the cheesecake without it? Oh, well, I hope you find something else to carry your rocks.  :)

Your climb sounds incredible. Best of luck to your whole team and keep the fantastic updates coming!

Posted by: Matt on 7/1/2011 at 6:35 am

Congratulations on 11,000 feet how awesome!  I am learning so much reading your reports and they also give me much peace knowing you are all safe. As you celebrate your birthdays on the mountain we celebrate Erin’s 30th here at home and think about you Will.

Posted by: Toni Jones on 6/30/2011 at 4:26 pm

Linden and Kel, thank you for your efforts on behalf of my husband and Madhu’s birthday.  I hope the team enjoyed the cheesecake! This will be one birthday to remember…

Posted by: laurie Colaneri on 6/30/2011 at 11:28 am

Rest days are good.  Hope it is enjoyed by all. Weather here in Shenandoah Valley is beautiful. In the 80’s and clear.  Wishing you the same (in Alaskan standards) for the rest of your journey. Stay well, stay healthy.

Posted by: Lorraine Lorenc on 6/30/2011 at 9:40 am

Sending you all good vibes for the days to come… may the weather be clement and the mountain spirits be with you. Alysse in the Forest.

Posted by: Alysse on 6/30/2011 at 8:41 am

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