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