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Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Hahn and Team Move to 14 Camp

It wasn’t a flawless day.  There were plenty of clouds about, and it looked mean and nasty up high on the mountain, but it was certainly nice enough where we were.  We left 11 camp at ten minutes past ten, ground on up motorcycle and squirrel hills in low gear and came out into the polo fields below the end of the West Buttress.  Another good uphill walk took us past our cache point from the other day and into definitely-not-windy-corner.  We went around the corner in perfect conditions, but all agreed it was pretty tough traversing the snowy side hill with a sled threatening to pull one off the track.  It began to snow on us a bit, but by this point it was welcome as it kept us from overheating as we wound around, between and over the top of giant crevasses on the final hour into our destination.  We pulled into camp at 14,200 ft at a few minutes past five, completing our biggest day yet.  Temps were noticeably cooler up so high and there was a light breeze blowing through 14 camp, so we couldn’t pause long enough to pat ourselves on the back or to gaze up in wonder at the West Buttress and the South Peak of Denali... we needed to get tents up and anchored down.  We simultaneously got that done, a kitchen up and running to melt large quantities of snow (we were all parched), a dining area dug in and covered and a latrine in place.  We are getting well practiced at high altitude, cold-camp construction. 
Just as we sat down for dinner at 8 PM, it was time to turn on a radio to catch the nightly forecast for mountain weather.  It isn’t a terribly stable outlook, but we do hope Adam Knoff’s RMI team at 17,200 ft can hang in there and get lucky.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Comments (8)

Hi Brian and team -  hope everyone is feeling healthy and energized.  Sounds like the days are definitely getting tougher and colder.  Connor wakes up every morning and wants to look at the pictures on the blog, I think you may have a climbing partner for your next adventure. We love you and miss you.

Posted by: Robin, Tristan & Connor on

Sounds like you had a long day and all did well.  Continued patience and success. Inch by inch.
Enjoy and be safe.

Posted by: Carolyn on

love the photos especially that second one! it’s really cool to follow your team each day as you move toward the summit. thanks for posting!

Posted by: michelle on

Glad you folks are continuing to make such good progress. Rest well tonight!!

Hope you’re feeling ALIVE Richard! Take care and stay safe.


Posted by: jerrett on

Sounds like a great adventure so far! Hard to imagine you all up there while sitting here under the aspens eatin’ wild berries in Montana. Big love to Will and best to the whole crew. Have fun. Slow & steady! ox, DO’C

Posted by: DO'C on

Happy to hear things are going well. So nice to have the blog and watch the progress. Darren and I got back from Vegas yesterday. You probably completly forgot that we were going. Keep climbing until you get to the top.  Love Mary

Posted by: Mary McDonald on

Go Dave and team!! You just completed one of the 3 or 4 toughest days, the move to 14k.  Hopefully you retrieve your cache soon without incident, rest a bit, watch the weather and climb on!!!
Team Hahn 07’ & 09’

Posted by: Tim Jones on

Mark- so close and yet so far - continued good luck and health.  Hope you make it.

Posted by: Vi and Don on

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