Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Feeling Good!

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 27, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 26, 2014 - 10:46 pm PT

With just a little anxiousness about our carry up to 13,500’, the first real climbing of the trip, the team awoke early this morning to a pretty darned reasonable day. 7:00 AM at 11,200’ can certainly be chilly, and today was no exception. We washed down our oatmeal with some hot drinks to fortify ourselves for the big day, reviewing as we usually do some key points of the days.

Our climb of Motorcycle Hill was made before the sun hit the face, making for a chilly start to the day. But at the top we were rewarded with great views of the Northwest Buttress and Peter’s Glacier, not to mention the Alaskan tundra in the distance. Squirrel Hill followed and we found ourselves cramponing on perfect snow.

Conditions, in general, were quite nice all the way to our cache site at 13,500’. But what really struck us was how well the team was climbing. And how well everyone was feeling. Yeah, it was a good push for us, but we all took heart in having done well today. Our dinner of mac and cheese with loads of crumbled bacon stirred in hit the spot. There were no leftovers tonight. Cookies for dessert finished us off before we organized gear for tomorrow.

As for tomorrow ... As good as everybody is feeling, if the weather again cooperates, we might just move up to 14,200’ camp. Then, we’ll be ready for a couple of well deserved rest days.

We’ll see ...

RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick

Rest break at the top of Motorcycle Hill (just outside of McKinley's 11K Camp). Photo: RMI Collection

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