Monday, July 4, 2011

Denali Team 7: June 12 to July 2 Dispatch #15 Back at Base Camp

Denali Team 7: June 12 to July 2

Guides: Chantel 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 4:40pm on July 3rd with this dispatch:

Hi!  This is Team Behind Schedule Again calling from Base Camp on Day 22 of our expedition.  Well, we were briefly on schedule but now we’re not because we are socked in with bad weather, base camp style.  We’re sitting In our tents enjoying ourselves, but we’d be enjoying ourselves a lot more if we were flying back to Talkeetna and preparing to come home! 

We arrived here early Saturday morning on schedule!  We summited Thursday and left high camp at 17,200 feet on Friday on schedule.  We made it down to 14,000 camp in good time and the kept on going Friday evening and through the night, arriving here in the wee hours of Saturday morning on schedule! 

The lower glacier was not easy.  The snowpack was really soft so we had to be extra vigilant about crevasses.  We were wallowing at times, but everyone did great.  We just kept a moderate but steady pace, and we made it here in really good time considering the conditions.

So everybody’s pretty antsy to get off the beautiful Kahiltna, but the weather is the weather, and in contrast to ourselves, this weak, little low-pressure-system doesn’t seem anxious to go anywhere.  We hope everyone at home is doing well, and we are looking forward to seeing you soon!”

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