Denali Expedition: Cifelli & Team Return to High Camp after Summit
People like to throw around the word ‘Conquer’ in reference to the mountains they climb. As if they defeated the mountain when they touched its apex. I find this to be a distasteful representation of summiting a mountain and as we crawled into our sleeping bags in the crisp, cold air of Denali’s 17,200K we certainly didn’t feel like conquerors. Tired, cold, and atrophied from the last 18 days on the mountain we slept knowing that Denali had granted us the opportunity to touch its peak and not that we had bested it.
The team awoke to clear skies and one of the first green lights we received from Denali, it was time to climb. At 10:25, we started our journey upward not reaching the summit until a hard, but well fought, ~10 hours. We are back down at High Camp; tired, sore, but satisfied with the effort and accomplishment. We start downward tomorrow in search of all of the cravings we have been fantasizing about.
RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli
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