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Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team at 7,800’ Camp

It was a little tough waking up at 1 AM, since we hadn’t been able to get to bed terribly early, but coffee and bagels got us going.  Just as we’d hoped, it had been a clear night and the glacial surface had frozen up good and hard.  Conditions were ideal for tackling the lower glacier.  This section can be problematic since it is normally heavily crevassed in late season, but we found that the recent snowfall and overnight freeze had combined to bridge things nicely.  We set out around 4:30 AM and made steady progress, first dropping a few hundred feet to reach the main glacier and then turning North while working up small hills and inclines.  The packs were heavy and despite the fact that the fully loaded sleds were sliding easily along, we were all pretty thankful for the short rest breaks each hour.  It was good hard work, but we didn’t have much in the way of glitches or problems.  The last two hours of our push were conducted in bright sunshine with a great view of Denali’s south face.  The West Buttress stood out clearly in relief.  We pulled into our intended camp at 7,800 ft at about 9:15 AM and got to work.  In no time, we had tents, a kitchen, a dining area, a latrine and the start of several significant naps.  It was a day for power lounging and for catching up on hydration.

We rallied for a group dinner since Solveig Waterfall was serving up excellent burritos, but then the naps resumed.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Comments (12)

Richard,  Great progress - Non-stop to the top, Best Wishes.

Posted by: Ritesh on

Richard - we are keeping tabs on you and your team.  What beauty of nature you must be viewing!  Blackie and I are keeping good thoughts of you and look forward to sharing your climb stories.  XOXOXOXO Genny

Posted by: Genny on

Following your progress, Richard. What a great site. Your team too!

Posted by: George Couper on

Go Richard & Team! We really appreciate the updates on this Blog. Please keep them coming. Stay warm and healthy Richard. We are thinking about all of you up there!


Posted by: Jerrett on

Hope you are having a great time.  Go for it.  My conputer is not that great.  Love, Audrey

Posted by: Audrey Hastings on

hope you are having fun Cathy!!! Caroline and I can’t wait to see you soon after your trek!!!!

Posted by: Kae on

Go Mark! I’m following the bloc as I travel. Hope you all have good weather.

Posted by: Mike Moore on

Spain beat Italy 4:0 in the final and is European Champion (again) and you win!!! Congrats!
Good luck to you and the entire team.

Posted by: Gerhard on

Cathy, it sounds like all that uphill tire dragging is paying off!  I am enjoying keeping tabs on your journey.  Hope you get some good rest today :)

Posted by: Monica on

Richard, one step at a time! It’s good to hear you guys are making good progress. Best of luck, Marcel

Posted by: Marcel on

Richard, Great job and even better team effort. I’m shocked when I recall our little ski trip to Yosemite. Best wishes to all.
Ken S.

Posted by: Ken Slider on

Good job.  Sounds like all that training is paying off

Posted by: Carolyn on

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More Updates


July 4, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Mike Walter & Team Waiting on Weather


July 1, 2012

Four Day Summit Climb

Mt. Rainier: July 1st Summit!

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