Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team at 9,500’ Camp

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | May 26, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,500'

Today marked our last day pulling full loads, and I think we’re all pretty psyched about that! Our five hour climb began after waking up to three inches of snow and white-out conditions. But such conditions are certainly not unusual on the Kahiltna, and so after a hearty breakfast of fried bagels, cream cheese and bacon we tackled Ski Hill.

Pulling huge sleds and shouldering monstrous packs is a given when climbing Denali, but is no small measure of character and sheer physical tenacity of the climber who accepts that challenge. And it is by meeting that challenge today that this team has really demonstrated a strength of will that will serve them well on this trip.

Tomorrow begins the time in the trip when we start splitting up our loads and ferrying them up the mountain in stages. We’re looking forward to this, but I know that these first two days have only made us stronger, and in the end, better prepared for the demands that lie ahead. We’ll move camp up to 11,200’ camp tomorrow and finally enjoy setting up a camp where we’ll be for at least three days. I think the crew is going to welcome finally being able to build a ‘proper’ mountain home, replete with protective walls around the tents and enclosed commodes. What an energetic and motivated team. I’m a lucky guide.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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Hi Brent:

Wishing you and your team good luck and a successful trip to the top of Mt. McKinley.  Considering the miserable condition of your trip, please stay safe and healthy.  We are proud of what you are attempting to accomplish.  Keep up the good work!!

George & Fujiko Okita

Posted by: George and Fujiko Okita on 5/30/2012 at 8:17 pm

Phil- Wishing you and everyone a safe and good climb. You definitely have earned it with all the training you have done. Have fun. Stay warm.  Carol and Jon Holmquist

Posted by: Carol Rank on 5/27/2012 at 5:53 pm

Uncle Brent - good luck climbing!! love Brian

Posted by: Brian Parella on 5/27/2012 at 7:27 am

Phil,stay warm. All is well. Love,Susan

Posted by: Susan Usher on 5/26/2012 at 7:03 pm

I wish the best of luck to you guys on reaching the 11000’ camp.  Love David

Have fun! Wish you good luck!!!  Love Jordan

PS - Brian is at a sleepover! 

WE LOVE YOU!  Carin and Andy

Posted by: David and Jordan Parella on 5/26/2012 at 6:35 pm

Doug and Audrey,  Greetings from the snowy Sierras. We’re hoping your weather holds up better than it did on Whitney. Thinking of you. Best wishes to you and the team for a great climb. Lu, Tom, & Erik

Posted by: Luanne Rohrbach on 5/26/2012 at 3:09 pm

Love you Brent! xoxo

Posted by: Jill Caven on 5/26/2012 at 1:04 pm

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