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Denali Expedition: Gately and Team are back at 14,000’ Camp

Thursday, May 31, 2019 12:11 AM PT The team is know all safely back down at 14 camp and tucked in for the evening. Summit day was a long hard fought battle but everyone did fantastic. The morning of our summit attempt we woke up in early in an attempt to beat the crowds up our first obstacle, the "auto bahn". This section often takes a couple hours to complete without a break and is steep and exposed. The exposure of this terrain requires us to use a form of running protection that protects the team against a fall but is quite time consuming. The end of this hurdle puts you at Denali Pass and our first rays of welcome sunshine. From here steep rolling glacier takes us up and around a swirled white and black rock feature known as "zebra rocks". At the top of this feature we were faced with a gentle but cold 15 mph wind. The terrain mellows out quite a bit as we meander through open glacier past a prominent rock point known "arch deacons tower" and into the football field, a flat depression just before our final slope to the summit ridge. Once on the summit ridge a short but dramatic climb brings us to the summit. The team took a few moments to take pictures and celebrate the ascent before our attention was turned toward getting back home. All in all the trip took us 13 hours round trip, all at elevations above 17,000 ft. With the summit behind us we turn our focus now to trying to truly get back home. Cloudy and snowy weather are abundant in the extended forecast which means chances of flying off anytime soon are nil. Tomorrow we'll check the weather in the morning and make decision to further descend, or to keep the luxury of our fortified camp here at 14, or opt for better weather. That's all for now, it's late again as I'm writing this and I'm in need of some serious rest! Thanks for following along everyone! RMI Guide Steve Gately & Team

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