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Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Ascend to High Camp, Ready for Summit Attempt

Friday, July 5, 2019 - 9:46 PM PT Finally, the perfect weather arrived! We made good use of this clear, calm, sunny, relatively warm day as we motivated on up to 17,200' Camp. The alarms at 14 Camp went off at 4:30 and we were walking uphill in pleasantly cool shadows by 6:45. We had the advantage of having traveled this terrain before, we had the added advantage that other teams had tracked it in for us yesterday following the days of new and blowing snow. And finally we had the huge advantage of the extra acclimatization days and nights spent at 14,000. We were on the beautiful crest of the West Buttress proper before the morning sun found us. And we were up Washburn’s Thumb and taking a break close to 16,900 when we greeted Mike Haugen’s victorious team making their way carefully down the ridge crest. It wasn’t long after that -at 12:40- when we rolled into the camp they’d just left for us at 17,200. The early arrival and pre-built camp meant we had a very easy afternoon of resting and drinking water. We tried to limit our time out in the intense high altitude sun, but every now and then one of our climbers or guides could be found at the easily accessible edge of camp, staring wide-eyed at the drop down to 14 Camp or the bigger drop to the Kahiltna Glacier... or to the bigger drop down to Anchorage. There is still smoke in the air, but I didn’t hear many complaints about limited views. In late afternoon we sat down to talk about the summit attempt we’ll make in the morning. The forecast could not be better. We’re feeling quite lucky and optimistic. Even so, it will be a tough climb and it will work us hard. Every climber took an extra portion at dinner with the big day in mind. Dead calm at 8:40 PM, sun still high in the sky, all for tonight. Stay tuned. Best Regards RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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