Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Cache Supplies at Washburn’s Thumb

Posted by: Mike Walter | May 21, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

Today was a crucial day for us to get in position for a summit bid. We carried a couple of days of food plus some personal gear to the bottom of Washburn’s Thumb at 16,800’. This cache is an integral part of the strategy of climbing this mountain. Once in place, we can wait for a weather window to move up to camp at 17,000’ and then summit. It now becomes a waiting game for us as we need a good forecast for a string of a few days.

It was also a great day for us to practice our climbing skills because the real climbing on Denali starts above 14,000’. We got to practice using the fixed lines up to 16,200’ to attain the West Buttress. From there, we were greeted with beautiful views and climbing on a thin, rocky ridge. The buttress is the namesake of the route, the reason people come up this way. It requires great attention, but affords amazing climbing and vistas. Everyone did a great job with these 2 new challenges. We even had some members of the group attain new personal high marks!

StokemeterNow, we’re back at camp ready for some rest. We are playing the waiting game now, holding out and hoping the mountain will give us the weather window we need. But the forecast looks pretty good, and we’re patient, stubborn, and well prepared. 14K Camp is a great place to get strong, and with a rest day tomorrow we definitely won’t be getting out of sleeping bags until the sun hits us.

Bringing back an old feature to the blog: the stoke meter is all the way up at a 9.5 right now!

RMI Guide Maile Wade and the southside dwellers of 14K!

On The Map

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You are in good hands.  Keep listening to Mike, make good choices and be safe.

Posted by: Diana on 5/23/2012 at 4:50 pm

Kyle, you are an amazing and wonderful boyfriend. Thank you so very much for the beautiful flowers and the sweet note. It definitely made me cry! We are all rooting for you and are so proud of you. Juliana asks me everyday where you are. Even my friend Dan says how inspired he is. On to the top! Hurry home! Love you! Stephenie

Posted by: Stephenie on 5/23/2012 at 6:28 am

For Mike Mauseth: here’s to more blue skies and safe travels.  The crew at Edward Jones are all pulling for you from sea level.  BTW: Facebook IPO was a flop.  Enjoy the journey, brother!

Posted by: Ryan kapp on 5/22/2012 at 10:15 pm

May another string of bluebird days be near in your forecast!  Thanks for the great update today - the descriptions really help to understand the significance of each piece of the strategy.  Wishing Pete and all the Team a good rest day and a safe journey!
Love, Mom & Dad

Posted by: Paula & Bill VanDeventer on 5/22/2012 at 8:33 pm

HI Mai, I love the stokemeter and it is almost a 10!  Things sure sound good up there.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for good weather.  Be safe and Big hugs to you and all.  xoxo Mom

Posted by: Ginny on 5/22/2012 at 8:28 pm

Hope you have a meowvelous time snuggling in the tent - sounds fun!  Mom is doing the weekly cleaning of the comforter and duvet before we can bed down for the night.  We all miss you.  Obe, mom, Grace, Ashley, TJ, and Megan.

Posted by: Obie Mauseth on 5/22/2012 at 7:34 pm

Hi mom! I just wanted to say hi. To keep you up on class info though, today was the nachos fundraiser and Laura got cheese on Aine and Aine started crying. It was kinda funny (sorry, that might sound mean). LOve You, Sherman

Posted by: Sheena on 5/22/2012 at 7:10 pm

Rich, thinking of you and sending good thoughts to the weather gods!  I know you’re going to do it, you’re the biggest badass I know.

Posted by: Katie Coleman on 5/22/2012 at 1:03 pm

Stokemeter, yes! Keep it up!

Posted by: Katie on 5/22/2012 at 11:15 am

Everything seems to be running smoothly. All the best Rich for the “real” part of the climb from the Atlanta contingent…!

Posted by: Roland Zuehlke on 5/22/2012 at 9:20 am

This is really exciting, I’m on pins and needles. Good luck, Rich. I know you’ve got it in you. XO

Posted by: Christina Doren on 5/22/2012 at 8:22 am

A once in a lifetime achievment is just ahead. Stay focused on the next step and power on!

Posted by: erik on 5/22/2012 at 8:00 am

Go Rich! We are all watching every day. Stay strong, stay stoked, and stay safe.

Posted by: Doug on 5/22/2012 at 7:28 am

Go Rich go!

Posted by: Lynn on 5/22/2012 at 4:32 am

sounds awesome !Make sure Nick my man coleman makes it to the summit without eating everytones food,,;)

Posted by: wayne coleman on 5/22/2012 at 4:12 am

Thanks for the updates and tell Nick to go easy on the bacon.

Posted by: Richard Coleman on 5/21/2012 at 11:39 pm

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