Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Back Carry and Train

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | May 30, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

What does normal feel like at 14,200’? Certainly not what it feels like at home. At least not at first. The headaches and weariness that some felt last night evaporated by morning and it was nice to see smiles on everyone’s faces at breakfast. Yet still, we are not fully adjusted to the elevation. This becomes obvious when some normally easy things like shoveling snow or even walking to the ‘bathroom’ cause our respirations and pulse to surge a bit. But, it’s getting better.

Today we retrieved our cache from 13,500’ and did some training in preparation for the most challenging climbing yet. Becoming comfortable with the mechanical ascenders that we will use for protection while ascending the steeps of the fixed ropes leading to the West Buttress is critical for our safe and efficient ascent. Next, being proficient in dealing with running belays used for protection on our climb up the exposed and most beautiful ridge of the Buttress is essential. And I’m happy to say that everyone is well prepared for tomorrows climbing.

Good news from our friends, RMI 2, led by Billy Nugent, who are now at 17,200’ camp, is that there are plenty of supplies at camp there, so our packs will be fairly light on our first foray up to 16,000’ or 17,000’.

Our climbing tomorrow serves two purposes. We do need to get food and fuel up to our next camp. But more importantly, tomorrow will serve to heighten our acclimatization greatly, allowing our bodies to feel even more normal up here. And the more ‘normal’ we start feeling here at 14,200’, the more prepared we will be for our eventual move to high camp at 17,200’.

But that’s jumping ahead a little. For now we’ll just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other for a few hours and see if we can’t get a cache in somewhere above us.

Goodnight from 14,200’ camp where our expected low temp tonight will hover around 0 degrees.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Leon Davis, and Lindsay Mann

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Good Luck boys!!! So wish I was there physically as its warmer with 3 in a tent but I am there in spirit!!

Posted by: Shoshana on 6/14/2012 at 5:49 pm

I’m so proud of you mom. Keep eating those sourpatch kids!

P.S I’m in computer class right now and Evelyn says hi!

Posted by: Sheena on 6/1/2012 at 10:39 am

Good Morning,  Hope everyone is rested and I’m keeping fingers & toes crossed that the weather clears and your summit will happen.  I’m so excited as are many others following your journey and your dream. Good luck,stay safe— Go team!  Elizabeth feel my hugs.  Love MOM

Posted by: Maureen Bartron on 6/1/2012 at 3:44 am

Hi Elizabeth, I wondered why I didn’t see you or Sheena at Sports Awards Night!  You are in high places these days.  Hey, would you be interested in going on the hike with Mrs. Buford on Sunday in the Presidio???  Ha ha.  Can’t wait to hear about your adventure.  Safe home.  Love,Mary, David, Hannah, Robert and Gertrude

Posted by: Mary Kane on 5/31/2012 at 8:26 pm

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