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Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Reach 19,500’ on Summit Bid

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 10:13 pm PT

And that's that,

Today we gave it all we could. The forecast was for less than 15mph winds and party sunny...well that wasn't exactly what we got. Camp was windy from the start. The sun was out but so was the wind. But today was our last shot so we left camp. It was a slow start behind a bunch of teams on the Autobahn but we made it to Denali Pass. The first stretch of the day is a real butt kicker. Clouds began to roam above Denali but conditions were still good. As the day progressed so did the clouds. By late afternoon we were in a cloud and the winds had picked up. We pushed as far as we could until it didn't make sense to keep going. 19,500' was our high point. Pushing past there with the conditions we had would be a risk. As the saying goes the mountains will be there for another try. They are much more robust than we are. The team made good, safe work making it back to camp. It would have been nice to arrive to a quiet camp but it is rather windy here. It will be a rowdy night in the winds but tomorrow we will skiddattle out of here to the land of more oxygen.

We gave it our all,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Comments (6)

Gutted for you but great effort and staying power to stick it out as long as you have. Devin & Dustin it was great to see you when we were on our way down (I was with Mike King’s group). Here’s to a safe descent and lots of beers!!

Posted by: Huw Rothwell on

Really an impressive achievement and I’m so happy and so proud of you all for going after this exciting adventure!
I admire your patience & tenacity Byron! We all love living your adventures!
Mom & Dad

Posted by: Judy & Dale on

19,500’ is a HUGE accomplishment! 

I admire you all for enduring the conditions and climbing so far carrying all that gear.  I admire you even more for your self-control, patience, and wisdom to descend—I know you’re disappointed.

Having the guts to make an attempt on Denali puts you in rare company.  Remember you made new friends with whom you shared an adventure of a lifetime. 


PS - To Steven and Steven’s new friends—watch out for the thrills and spills on Motorcycle Hill!

Posted by: Pam Singleton on

Great Job Doing what you did Hannah and Dustin!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on

It’s just an accomplishment to be where you all are. We are so very proud of you Steven and team.
The girls and I love and miss you.


Posted by: Larisa Pivnik on

What an accomplishment! The amount of perseverance to get that far and to endure the many days of waiting, must have been a great challenge. I so admire all of you and your achievement. I hope you have a safe and uneventful return to the thick soup of air the rest of us have been taking for granted in your absence. Much love to my brother Byron who I admire so much.

Posted by: Heather Collins on

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