Monday, June 28, 2010

Denali Team 5: Dispatch #15 - Summit Success!!!!

Denali Team 5: June 13-July 3

Guides: Paul Ivaska, Richard Riquelme, Kristen Looper
Apprentice: Andrew Yasso

Climbers: Walt, Ann, and Luke Hampton (Canton, Connecticut), Caitraiona Strain (Burnfoot, Ireland). Brendan McDyer (Glenties, Ireland) Skye O'Donnell (Sydney, Australia), Colin Stalnecker (Chicago, Illinois), Ryan Derrigan (Rickmansworth, England), and Stephen Williams (Oxon, United Kingdom)

Andrew called at 12:18 Pacific Time with great news. The team summitted yesterday!

The team woke up yesterday to six inches of new snow on the tent, but other than that it was a beautiful day with not an ounce of wind. The team got moving at 11:00am.

The first part of the route was very difficult. Paul did some exhausting trailbreaking. The team encountered chest deep snow at times!

The difficult snow conditions made for a long and exhausting day. The group summitted at 9pm and then began their descent.

Andrew said that they were above the clouds all day and that the views on the descent were stunning. On one side of the mountain was the full moon and on the other side of the mountain was the setting sun. "It was as if we were on the line between night and day. And it was like we were there for hours. It was beautiful," he said.

When we received the phone call, people were just getting up. They will be tearing down camp and heading down to 14 camp soon. It sounds like they could be off the mountain as soon as Wednesday if the weather holds. If not, it might be Thursday or Friday.

We were able to give Andrew everybody's well wishes. I could hear him moving from tent to tent as he roused people with the comments from their friends and family.

Everybody is very excited!


Abbey said...

luke, congratulations!! yayy! i can't wait to hear from you!

DD said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you! Can't wait to hear all about it.

Katie Bradfield said...

Congratulations Steve! Sounds fantastic & so proud of you. I can’t wait to see you when you get home! The weather is really warm here – it’s going to be a shock! Love you, Katie xx

Jeanne said...

OHHH Andrew!! We've been waiting for that report for days! I can't tell you how happy we are for you. Reading your words with tears streaming down my face. I spoke with Natasha today we are both so happy. Congrats to the whole team! Way to go.

Lots of Love and Congratulations, Mom and Dad

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Congratulations Drew!!
Love, The McPhersons :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent to finish unfinished business!!!

Walt - so poetic that you are on the Mountain w/ Luke.

Congrats to all - GREAT JOB

Safe decent, the summit is only the halfway point:)


Anonymous said...

90 degrees here...swimming pool is open so is hot tub for sore muscles..lake is a little chiller ...see you soon! WOOF

Anonymous said...

Drew - Hong Kong is cheering for you! Next time you're passing through, we're taking you to Dan Ryans for the meal of your choice.


xo tess, charles, and all the little caldwells!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Drew, congrats. So jealous.

Steve M said...

Walt, Ann, Luke,
Congratulations! I guess you can finally go somewhere different next year. Well done. can't wait to see the pics and hear the stories. Get home safely.
Steve and Cherie

Jim said...

Woo hoo!!!!!!

Steve M said...

Walt, Ann, Luke,
Congratulations! I guess you can finally go somewhere different next year. Well done. can't wait to see the pics and hear the stories. Get home safely.
Steve and Cherie

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! We are so happy for you! Have a safe and enjoyable trip down the mountain and don't forget to celebrate! -Kristina and Don :)

antipodean said...

G'day Steve,..awesome baby bro. All so proud of all your achievements. take care jdjh x

Teri said...

Drewly, Way to climb. I am so proud of you. I will be thinking of you on Thursday.

Aunt Teri

Unknown said...


You are a machine! Chest deep snow! Nice effort! Sooo excited, tooo much climbing envy for me to type properly. Congrats! See you for the celebratory piss up!

Hugh and Bridie

Ginger said...

Congrats to Walt, Ann & Luke - and Team 5! What a moment - can't wait to hear about it... Ginger & Phil

Anonymous said...

What an awesome accomplishment! Heartiest congratulations to you and the entire team! Stay safe!
~Dedee & Ralph DeLisio

Unknown said...

Paul, Impressive season!!! Hopefully done with breaking trail and safe returns...My spirit has been with you..Johnna

Rachel Royer said...

Well done! Good job you are tall if the snow is that deep! Saving you some friday sweets skinny! Love Ollie and Maddie xx

rowingmum said...

Hi Steve. Many, many congrats. So hugely proud of you. What an achievement - like August 16/21??! Longing to chat. Save journey home. LOL Mum & Dad xx