Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team - A Heavy Fall of Snow

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon | July 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

July 14th, 2014 - 7:45 pm PT

At seven this morning, a good chunk of the sky was clear.  We could see way out into the tundra to the West and there were mountains visible in the South that we were seeing for the first time on this trip.  Our objective, Denali’s South Peak, was in the clear and there didn’t appear to be any wind blowing at Denali Pass.  We geared up to climb for the summit.  There was a bit of cloud to watch in the Northwest though.  As we broke trail toward the base of the Autobahn (the route to Denali Pass) we watched that cloud in the NW come a little closer.  We climbed some of the steeper terrain of the Autobahn while still in morning shadows.  It was cold and progress was slow due to our need to re-establish the snowed over route.  The clouds encroached on the North Peak.  Then they formed a cap on the South Peak.  We were still in relatively calm conditions, so we pushed on to about 17,900 feet, in order to give the clouds a chance to change their mind and flee.  This didn’t happen.  The clouds became a snowstorm and so we spun around and worked carefully back to high camp.  Since the storm showed no signs of abating, it seemed a good time to retrieve our emergency cache of food from 16,200 feet.  A few intrepid guides accomplished that mission just in time to avoid strengthening winds on the West Buttress.  We’re safe in our tents now at 17,200 feet, waiting for the storm to go elsewhere before we try once again to climb Denali.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI Guide breaks trail on the Autobahn, Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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We are cheering for you all and keeping the faith for good weather!  Stay warm, stay positive and see you soon!

Posted by: Sarah Jayne on 7/15/2014 at 8:15 am

Another snow day!!  Look forward to summit report tomorrow.

Posted by: Mary on 7/15/2014 at 2:50 am

Thanks for the updates!

Posted by: TJ Jerome on 7/14/2014 at 7:27 pm

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