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Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team - Locked and Loaded, Luggaged Lugged

June 12, 2014 - 9:47 pm PT

Climbing in Alaska, so close to the Arctic circle is never an easy task. Formidable and imposing features surround the landscape we travel through. Climbing, especially on “The High One” presents the added challenge of high winds, low temperatures, and high altitude.

Today, we awoke to one of these elements; low temperatures. It makes for a unique challenge when faced with the need to begin the days work. Forcing ones self to leave the warm cocoon you have been comfortably nestled in all night. We began our day with a warm dose of oatmeal and hot drinks, and soon took off towards the fixed lines that lay above our current camp at 14,000 feet, in Genet Basin. As an expedition this was our first time above our current camp.

As we struck out from camp we welcomed the warmth of the sun on our backs. After climbing to the base of the fixed lines, we began our steepest climbing of the day. Travel was smooth and the reality of the climbing set in. From the top of the fixed lines we ran the ridge of the West Buttress and made efficient work to the base of “The Thumb,” at 16,700’. We created a cache of food and some personal items needed for high camp and our summit attempt. From our cache we retraced our steps back to camp. The team made quick work of dinner and now are fast asleep.

For now we wait and rest, ready to launch. All we need is a window and bang! We’re off. Keep it locked in…

RMI Guide Tyler Jones

On The Map

Comments (8)

Jen - Way to go! Fixed lines - it’s getting real. I know you’re doing awesome. Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back.

Posted by: Nicole on

Hi Will! I got your postcard of Denali yesterday! Such a sweet surprise - I’m praying for you and missing you! The a/c at the office is nothing compared to your frigid temps but know that I’m shivering with u and dreaming of the day I can go to Alaska w u! Remember the anchorage guy in the RV we met in the parking lot of lake Louise? Good mems! Luv u big time - da wife.

Posted by: Christine on

when the going get’s tough, the tough get going!!  Congrats team… stay warm.  We’re on the wilderness tour today at Denali - will be looking for you all!
Much love, Cathy

Posted by: Cathy Lambert on

Congratulations team, on the move again. Looks beautiful, wish was there with you. Jennifer, I’m in Fl. this weekend with your sister and family. We’ll all be following the expedition. Good climbing, stay healthy and full. Love Dad, Nicole, Frank, Emma and baby Jake.

Posted by: Nick Boekenoogen on

Good Morning, Paul! A truly amazing experience and you are doing it! Continue to be safe and have fun. Hugs, Anita

Posted by: adonnelly on

Praying for strength, courage and a warm, sunny day for the team. Oh and no winds too. Jen, continue to stay confident and strong. Love you.

Posted by: Aunt Marie on

Paul et al, what a blast, my heart racing as I read the day’s events; eat and rest, bro, sending u some powerful positive energy. Ben

Posted by: ben Alvarez on

Hello Jake and other team members. Sounds like it’s starting to get serious, this is where all of that training will pay off. Stay warm and enjoy yourselves!

Posted by: Alan Wander on

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More Updates


June 12, 2014

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team on Mountain Time


June 13, 2014

Four Day Summit Climb

Mt. Rainier: June 13th - Update

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