Monday, June 13, 2011

Denali Team 7: June 12 to July 2 Dispatch #1
Stuck in Talkeetna

Denali Team 5: June 12 to July 2 

Guides: Chantal Astorga, Mike Pond, and Mat Erpelding

Climbers: Leslie Brown (Washington), Darren Wise (Australia), Shane Pophfer (Australia), Khai Nguyen (California), Denis Levin (Australia), Andrew Sargant (Australia), Erik Akerberg (Sweden), Neill Johanson (Australia), and Dale Wagner (Utah).

Chantel called at 4:04 pm Alaska time with the following dispatch:

“We’re basically hanging out in picturesque Talkeetna waiting for the weather to improve.  It hasn’t been good enough visibility to fly, so everyone is sitting tight waiting.

We were hoping to fly onto the glacier yesterday, but the weather didn’t cooperate.  Even though the rest of the mountain was clear, base camp was socked in, so we couldn’t fly.  And then overnight a stronger low pressure system moved in, and has been snowing with a ceiling of just 4000 feet.

We made good use of the day.  We went over tents – not just putting them up in difficult conditions, but how to secure them well for high winds and snow, and how to build walls to protect them.  We also went over configurations for roping up, rigging for the glacier in general and for the sleds specifically.   And we reviewed crevasse rescue.  Everyone is looking good with these skills.

Weather-wise there hasn’t been much change through the day.  This afternoon the ceiling went up a little, and it’s been getting warmer and drier.  But it’s looking darker towards the mountain, so I’m not very optimistic about flying this evening.

We have a great group.  Our team members are really interesting people, and we are all very much enjoying each other’s company.  We don’t have any messages yet since we are able to use our cell phones from here.

That’s about all the news.  We’re on standby for flying until 8 pm tonight.  We’re all packed and ready to go on short notice.

Last night people stayed at the Swiss Alaska, so lodging worked out well  The kept everyone together, and we may do the same again tonight.

OK.  I’ll call again when there’s news.  By for now.”


David Yung said...

Khai Nguyen (California) and the team, hope the weather will be on yr side and the team will be able to fly onto the Glacier soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Hope you are all well and are making some progress!!!