Denali Expedition: Parrinello and Team At Base Camp Waiting to Fly
Monday, June 20, 2022 - 8:39 a.m. PDT
So we did it, well almost. We’re right back where we began our journey but this time we are stuck here. I’m of course talking about Kahiltna International Airport. How did this happen? Let’s start at the beginning of our day.
BEEP BEEP BEEP. The 1:00 a.mm alarm goes off, the guides rub the sleep / snow out of their eyes. Oh wait, did you say snow? Yes, yes I did because the guides decided to roll the dice and open bivy instead of set up a tent for our “last” night out. Anyways not a big deal, snow brushes off and sleeping bags dry eventually.
The rest of the team quickly rallied and broke down camp and we headed out on the mushy trail. Slightly less mushy though thanks to a slight refreeze from the night. Thank goodness for that because we crossed a lot of snow bridges over crevasses. The walking was easy and the team was traveling well, until Heartbreak Hill, the final slope up to the airstrip. It’s just steep enough to be terrible and just shallow enough grade to last for what feels like forever.
Finally, finally we made it to the airstrip. Our time to get back to civilization was here! Except not, because we didn’t fly out. Now here’s how we got stuck. Clouds. Clouds everywhere. First clouds at the airstrip prevented them from flying, then clouds in Talkeetna, then more clouds at the airstrip, then clouds both places.
So as I write this we’ve missed our window for flying out today and await patiently for a break in the weather tomorrow. Let’s hope the next dispatch is a picture of us clinking glasses and celebrating in Talkeetna!
To be continued….
RMI Guides Avery Parrinello, Jack Delaney, Liam Weed and the team