Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Digging Out from “Epic” Storm

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 28, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 27, 2014 - 11:11 pm PT

At 8 PM this evening we were blessed with the first glimmer of sun in two and a half days.  This isn’t completely out of the ordinary for this neck of the woods but more surprising, even to me with eight Denali expeditions, was the amount of snow that fell during that sunless stretch.  Four feet would about do this storm justice but when you are living in a nylon house that can collapse under a moderate burial of drifting snow it felt more like ten feet.  This morning at breakfast while in the posh house, a one pole pyramid cook tent set up to fit the entire team, shook and sagged under the constant loading of falling flakes, Jay Lampas asked if this snow storm qualified as “epic” yet? I didn’t want to sound too fragile and make him believe this was the “storm of the century” but I did have to concede that four feet in two days was a touch “epic”.  Of course the main worry of the team is how this massive blanketing will effect our upward progress.  I didn’t have an exact answer but I do know we will be sitting still on Saturday no matter how brilliant the weather because of the avalanche hazard that awaits above us.  Safety is always the number one priority so we will move to 14,000 feet only when we know it is safe to do so.  Hopefully our dwindling lunch food and Cosmo magazines can hold us out until we can get to the cache of food we left at Windy Corner.  We are all looking forward to a night with no 2 am wake up calls for shoveling duty.  Maybe full dreams will be of the upper mountain.  All the best from McKinley Team Knoff

Mt. McKinley's 11K Camp of snow forts. Photo: Rob Lindner

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Yup! We are now swimming in Torch Lake after a “forever” winter in Northern Michigan!  As we follow you up Denali we can see that the snows have not left all places to date!  We hope you get a break in the weather and your journey will be able to move forward.  Ken

Posted by: Ken and Kathy Masck on 6/29/2014 at 3:45 am

Happy birthday Wheeler! I hope the weather cooperates!

Posted by: Kenny on 6/28/2014 at 8:33 pm

Pls tell Fatima Brazil just scraped past Chile on penalties and so are further on their way to the finals. (trying to spur her on!) Peter

Posted by: peter williamson on 6/28/2014 at 5:41 pm

Well Andy, sounds like you had a memorable 28th!! Glad for everyone that the weather is clearing and hopefully the snow will pack so you can resume your climb when it looks safe! Our thoughts are with you and all your team. Everyone in T-town is rooting for you!! God Bless.

Posted by: Jerry Hildebrand on 6/28/2014 at 1:28 pm

Happy Birthday, Andy.  I Guess this beats skydiving on your 18th !  Here’s hoping the weather clears…...

Posted by: Sue Wheeler on 6/28/2014 at 11:33 am

After that snow, the weather just has to clear up. Wishing you all the best, Peter

Posted by: Peter Williamson on 6/28/2014 at 6:44 am

Not surprised you had “epic” snow.  Ask Jay Lampas about that. Wishing you clear skies and light winds for the rest of your journey!

Posted by: Susan Lampas on 6/28/2014 at 6:39 am

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