Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Turn the Corner into 14K Camp
Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 10:06 pm PT
At long last, we made it from the lower mountain to the upper mountain. The weather was perfect all day long, although forecasts hadn’t given any indication that it might be. It was a bit of work to get packed up and moving out of 11,000 ft this morning… we tend to put down roots, but by 9AM we were stretching the ropes out and walking toward Motorcycle Hill. The snow surface was firm and perfect for crampons. We moved on up over familiar terrain, but this time with unlimited views of tundra and rivers to the north. Views were spectacular as we turned Windy Corner, but of course we couldn’t gaze at them too long -lots of climbing stuff to concentrate on at the Corner. There was little or no wind to be had as we made our way into Genet Basin and the fabled Fourteen Camp at 2:30 in the afternoon. Our expedition experience changed markedly as we hauled through camp. As one of the last guided teams of the season, we’ve been mostly on our own or around one or two other teams at most. It was nearly overwhelming to be seeing so many teams coming and going from 14 Camp. Socially it was exciting -for both guides and climbers- to be seeing friends and co-workers from various companies -many for the first time since before the pandemic. A handful of teams were coming down into camp after summit bids yesterday. Briefly, all three RMI teams on the mountain were in the same place at the same time. The National Park Service B3 helicopter was in action conducting rescues high and low. As we dug in to establish our camp we felt like we’d come into the center of everything. For a short time at least. Many of those we saw will shortly go lower or higher. We still need to drop down tomorrow morning for our cached supplies parked just above the Corner. But tonight we are sleeping at fourteen-thousand-hard-earned feet.
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