Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Reach 14,200’ Camp
May 28, 2014 - 10:33 pm PT
Evaluating the weather at 6:20 this morning from the vestibule of our tent I saw a somewhat similar scene to what I saw yesterday. With one exception. A little lightness shining through the clouds to the north. Faint in the early morning light, but there it was. So with that small glimmer of hope that the weather might cooperate for us today, we set the wheels in motion. Stoves were fired up and the call to wake up made. Still uncertain if the weather would improve enough, we held off packing up the tents until last.
But finally the clouds parted enough to give us the confidence to head to 14,200’ camp. We could see the sun about 1,000’ above the clouds we were in. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t want to make it too easy and threw some gusty winds our way on Squirrel Hill. It seemed like the weather might be changing, but everyone was climbing well so we persevered and by the time we got above that hill, things had mellowed out. Even Windy Corner wasn’t too bad.
We eventually made it to camp at 14,200’ where the sun was out and it was warm and pleasant. To make things even nicer, we were greeted by the RMI group ahead of us who were camped there. Led by Pete Van Deventer, the whole team came out to lend us a hand getting camp set up.
Everybody had great appetites at dinner, a good sign given that we had just moved 3,000’ to our higher camp. It was a tired, but very happy team that put down bowl after bowl of Ramen tonight.
We’re all ecstatic to be here tonight, and I couldn’t be prouder of how the team climbed today.
Well, it’s about time that I hit the sack as well.
RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick