Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Denali Team 6: June 3 to June 23 - Dispatch #8

Guides: Mike Pond, Dustin Byrne, Tad McCrea

Climbers: Jim Bonadonna (New York), David Wain (UK), David Pritchett (UK), Todd Fletcher (Australia), Peter Menne (Germany), David Martin (Australia), Mark Mueller (California), Philip Mace (Bermuda), Brian Knowles (California)

Mike called at 3:46 PST on 6/13 with the following dispatch: 

"Hi this is Mike - Dustin says Hi too - We're at 14,000' and spent the last couple days doing camp maintenance.  We've had 2' of new snow, so it's been a bit crazy .  It's been pretty interesting seeing some gnarly avalanches, but we are a safe distance away and we have the best walls at camp.  

Alasdair's team left about an hour ago.  The weather is ok, generally clearing up today and tomorrow, but the forecast keeps getting pushed back and getting worse.  Apparently people at 17 camp have been getting battered.  One quote from climber up there says it is the worst weather they had ever seen.  Ever.

But ya, we are pretty psyched at our Planet Hoth base camp here.  Spirits are up and everyone has been telling jokes and having a good time. 

Sorry we haven't been too regular on our dispatches here.  We've had really low signal strength with all the bad weather we've had, and also our solar panel wasn't charging the phone very well.  But now we have swapped panels with Alasdair since he is heading out, and it is working much better.  That's it for now!"


Graham Martin said...

Hi there Team 6 . It seems you have been doing a lot of waiting around in the snow. Have Dave M and Todd been showing off their new snow shows - if they can find them under all that snow? We hope you are all having an awesome time. Keep the dispatches coming.

Anonymous said...

"Best walls at camp" - ha ha Would check that the altitude has not gone to your heads if you happen to find yourselves laughing at anything Phil has to say. Those poor people at 17. I thought about you guys and felt guilty when I was complaining about the cold here this morning.
I predict those clear skies should hit you around Tuesday as they may take a long time to get there from New Zealand.
I think you need alcohol to keep you warm - is that allowed?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update! Best regards to Mark from his family in CA. We wish you and your team the best and hope that you are enjoying your Denali experience! It seems that you found last winter's Sierra snow! We were sad that the phone didn't let us answer your call earlier today :(
Lots of love from your girls!

Kris Slentz said...

Stay warm and keep building those walls! And please tell Dustin that I can't be reached at the usual number, but if anyone knows how to dial Singapore my local phone is 48236750.
Kris Slentz

Kris Slentz said...

I love reading how all the AAI teams are using their time on the mountain when stalled by weather...telling jokes, building skills, eating well, building walls, sharing stories, having a great time and learning all the while, no matter what!

KEN HOWELL said...

Ken Howell said ..
Sounds like a great team! Have a great time and remember ".....getting down is mandatory"

BarbieK said...

I look forward to the comments as much as the Dispatches. Everyone sends such positive vibes! Tell Brian his Dad is in Virginia, his sister Heather is in London, her husband in Brazil and I am holding down the fort in Marblehead! We sure have a traveling Family!!

Barbara Knowles

Sarah Martin said...

Hi Team 6, glad to hear you're all having a great time despite the weather. I'm doing well back in AUS, only 2 more working days left and i'll be on my way over there. There was some funny advise in the sydney morning herald last weekend, apparantly if you are being chased by a polar bear you should always run left, as they tend to strike with their right paw! I thought it was funny. just some info that you'll hopefully never have to use!! Not sure why it was in an Aussie paper, we're pretty short on polar bears over here!! Keep having fun. Love to Dave M