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Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Ready to Move Up

Thursday, July 2, 2014 – 4:43 PM PT

Yesterday our team experienced the unparalleled vistas of a clear sky at 16,200’ on Denali as we were finally handed a nearly perfect day. We loaded up three days of lunch and snack food plus a few personal items for our carry to the top of the fixed lines which crest Washburn’s Ridge—the most stimulating section of Denali’s West Buttress Route. The team did great learning how to jumar. All members of the St. Angelo family and Jay and Mary Lampas hit personal altitude records. Fatima did a great job breaking trail down the lines, literally paving the way for thirty other climbers on the same program as us. 

The population of 14k camp has increased dramatically. What once was a camp that resembled a wide cow pasture with wandering wildlife now resembles a city with distinct neighborhoods on main thoroughfares.  Just like a city, this can create traffic jams when multiple teams, all roped together, try to move around at the same time. This sudden influx of guided teams means we will need to wake up at 4 am, while the temperature here sits around 5 below, just to beat the crowds and avoid a bottleneck.

This afternoon we had a lengthy breakfast which leaned more along the lines of a leisurely brunch. We then took a beautiful stroll to an incredible precipice called the Edge of the World. Great weather allowed us more breathtaking views and inspired us for the hard days to come. Hopefully our next contact will be from high camp.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

On The Map

Comments (12)

Happy 4th of July and congrats on making it above 16,000!
The pics are breathtaking.  Thanks for keeping us updated!

onward and upward!

Posted by: Lisa Albert on

To Mark Skinner and crew: Hang tight it’s been in the 90’s here. See you soon!!!

Posted by: Bill & Linda on

Big Horn, Big Fish! We really miss you. Liam thinks his daddy is so strong he can carry everyone to the top! Happy Independence Day, happy climbing.

Posted by: Birgen on

Happy 4th of July to all!  Keep moving up!!

Posted by: Susan lampas on

Happy 4th of July from San Diego!  We’re enjoying all the blog updates and hope the good weather continues for the team.  Shout out to Dave - I hope this is #50 on your list!

Posted by: Tran on

@St. Angelo family (and others) congrats on the altitude record! Just when you thought you couldn’t get any crazier…

I spoke with Amy and she said you are all doing well, glad to hear it. We are all wishing you a happy 4th of july, celebrate if you can! The views are breathtaking, cant imagine what it must look like in person. Shred some gnar for me wit your skis :D

Posted by: Nicholas Iodice on

Nice work Jay and Mary. We’re keeping tabs on you at work. Good luck with the summit.

Posted by: Jeremy McBride on

Adam good luck with your summit bid.  Great pics.  Your Grandpa Gordy was here yesterday and looked at your blog.  He asked why people want to climb mountains :).  Good luck from the MN and WI clan.  Happy 4th of July.

Posted by: Kris and Jon on

It is truly amazing what you have all accomplished so far. You’ve worked hard to earn your life “above the clouds”. Sending you strength as you dig deep on your journey to the top.  Love to my guys - david, alex and evan and your new climbing family.

Posted by: amy st. angelo on

Andy, happy 4 th of July to you and the entire team. Looks like your making good progress and have blessed with great weather. The pics are awesome! May everything continue to go well on your way to high camp.

Posted by: Jerry Hildebrand on

Happy July 4, thanks for the great report from yesterday, hoping the warmth and sun stay strong. Climb on and hoping the summit is as beautiful.

Posted by: Jane on

So glad to hear you guys finally got some well deserved improvement in your weather and it sounds like you are really going strong. Looks like Fatima’s spirits must be high:) Good luck with the alpine start tomorrow. Peter

Posted by: peter williamson on

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More Updates


July 1, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Reach Llama Corral


July 1, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank and Team at Basecamp

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