Monday, May 9, 2011

Denali Team 1: May 1 - 21 Dispatch #13

Denali Team 1: May 1 - 21
Guides: Kurt Hicks, Dan Otter, Aili Farquhar

Climbers: Izabela Smolokowska (Warsaw, Poland), James Haydock (Dublin, Ireland), Ardeshir Yaftebbi, Iwan Irawan, Fajri Al Luthfi, Martin Rimbawan, Popo Fajar Sidik, and Nurhuda (all from Indonesia).

Kurt called with a dispatch at 2:06 pm on May 9th:

"Hello to the outside world.  This is Kurt calling in from the thin air up here in Camp 3 at 14,000 feet.  Yesterday we woke up at 6:30 am to a cold, sunless morning.  By 9:30am we were moving from our camp at 11,000 ft up to 14 camp.  It was a long and tiresome day but everyone did reallky great.  We got to an empty Camp 3 at 6pm.  It was wild to only see 6 teams up here when there are easily 30 later in the season.  We are the beginning of the first wave of climbers but right now it seems like we have the mountain to ourselves.  We were lucky enough to find a site that had prebuilt walls and a prime location for the cook tent.  Once the sun went down we didn't linger for long, it dropped to -20 F.

This morning the sun was up at 9:30am with temperatures ranging from -20 F to -5 F.  It was clear and we could see Mt. Foraker and up to the summit of Denali, simply beautiful!  We didn't get out of the tents until 10:30am and then, after a quick breakfast, roped up to get the cache.  It was a great morning with low clouds in the valleys and all the tall peaks poking through the clouds.  It took a few hours to get the cache and now we are back in camp.  Tomorrow it looks like high winds (up to 50mph) are predicted so that might make it difficult to put a cache in above the fixed lines.  We might have to wait until better conditions.  That's it for now, talk to you again soon."

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