Mt. McKinley Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Have Decision Day

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | June 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

June 2, 2014 - 11:16 pm PT

With things looking up for us, we got up early and packed camp this morning. With full packs and a lot of excitement to be moving again, we headed once more up towards the head wall and the fixed lines. We were not by any means the only group with this idea though and a train formed pretty quickly. As we worked our way up the lines in traffic the wind started to pick up, at first just occasional gusts that swirled through the basin, then becoming steadier, stronger, and carrying snow with them. By the time we reached the col at 16,200’ conditions had deteriorated significantly. It was a frustrating decision, but this was the type of weather that was too much for us to continue on in, and we decided quickly to turn back down the fixed lines to 14,000’ camp, out of the winds.

Once camp was reset, we had a tough team meeting over dinner. We’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and sacrifice into this endeavor, both on the mountain and all of the preparation and training, but we’ve been here for a long time, and it’s time to think about heading down. Everyone agreed that tomorrow, we will pack camp again, but this time will turn our boots downhill and head for the airstrip, home, and families. The team has worked so hard, and come together so well, and it’s a disappointment for all, but with any luck we’ll be at the airstrip tomorrow, and fly in the evening or next morning.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see everybody soon.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

Ascending Mt. McKinley via the West Buttress above 14,000 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Our hearts ache for you. We are so sorry that your trip is ending this way knowing how much you wanted to summit. Lowrys you will survive!

Posted by: Frank Haasbeek on 6/4/2014 at 4:00 am

Have a safe trip home. Just remember:
The Journey is for the Soul, The Summit is for the Ego.

We love you,
Lisa, Joe and Gabe

Posted by: Lisa, Joe and Gabe on 6/3/2014 at 6:27 pm

Get down safe ...Marko beers on me!

Posted by: Remi on 6/3/2014 at 2:46 pm

A safe decision. Best wishes for an uneventful trip down the mountain and homeward, with great memories.

Posted by: Kristi Kennelly on 6/3/2014 at 2:23 pm

Safe travels down and home.

Posted by: Nick Spanakis on 6/3/2014 at 1:37 pm

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