Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Prepare to Ride Out Storm at 14,000 Camp
Monday, July 5, 2021 - 9:50 pm PT
Score one for the weathermen. They weren’t kidding about this storm. It is real. Came in during the night and by morning it was snowing and blowing and we couldn’t see much. There wasn’t any question of moving camp up to 17,000 ft. In fact, we retreated somewhat. Just after breakfast, RMI Guides Dominic and Matt geared up for the toughest of missions. They trudged out into the teeth of the storm to climb up to retrieve our food cache on the West Buttress. Yes, we were proud to have just placed it there two days ago, but now we can’t afford to be separated from those supplies should avalanche conditions set up in the coming days… which seems likely. The guys had hard going, breaking trail in rapidly accumulating snow. At the 16,000 ft ridge crest they were dealing with winds easily in the 50 mph range, the kind that sound like jet engines even from way down here at 14k. We had plenty strong winds in camp, but of course we were in shelter and comfy, warm and dry. Dom and Matt grabbed the cache and bolted safely back to camp in a total of four very difficult hours. But their work significantly eased our ability to meet our new primary goal: riding out the storm.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn