Monday, May 29, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21- June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead guide Andrew Yasso called in. The team is still hunkered down at Camp '1.8' (9800') due to some unfavorable weather. The plan is to make a push for Camp 2 tomorrow, wile taking every safety precaution possible. Andrew articulated that weather is part of climbing, and when the weather is good the team will climb and when it isn't the team will rest. Today was another rest day. However motivation is high and the team is eager and excited for the push to Camp 2.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3)

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Guide Zach Lovell called in. Today was a semi-rest day. The weather moved in and out today but stilled allowed the team to take some photos at 'The edge of the world'. They spent the day recovering from the whole trip, and preparing for the rest of their climb up the mountain.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21- June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead guide Andrew Yasso called in. The team successfully made it to 9800' and set up camp after their climb from Camp 1. They tried to move their cash up to Camp 2 at 11,000' but conditions were too harsh. So after arriving at their cash the team decided to turn around and head back down to 9800'. Everyone is safe and well back at camp, bundled up and waiting out the weather. If the weather permits they hope to attempt to move their cache up to Camp 2 again.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3)

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Team 2 guide Jeremy Devine called in. The team woke up today to diminished winds and improved conditions, prompting the decision for the team to get their cache in above camp. The team had a relatively quiet day. Clouds and wind rolled back in, but did not dampen spirits. After dinner everyone was able to get to bed relatively early in hopes for improved weather tomorrow.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21- June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead guide Andrew Yasso called in. The team just rolled into Camp '1.8' They had a successful move through deep snow, making the best of their window of clear weather.  Unable to make it all the way to Camp 2, the team is still in good condition to make the final push to Camp 2 once the weather settles. The team is doing very well and everyone has been stepping up to do their part and more to carry the load.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3)

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Lead guide Chad Cochran called in. The team is successfully settled at 14,000', with the plan being to take a rest day to wait out the high winds. Everyone has been doing well and particularly enjoying the extra rest day! This has allowed the team some additional time to organize their gear, restock on calories, and prepare for their next move to High Camp. There looks to be a window of promising weather within the next couple of days. 

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21- June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead guide Andrew Yasso called in...The team was planning on making the push to Camp 2 but recent snowfall dictated that the group take a rest day at Camp 1. Everyone had the opportunity to rest in their tents, play some fun card games and spend some time relaxing. A little bit later the team will take on some camp improvement tasks. They are expecting to be held at Camp 1 for a few days, but everyone is poised and ready to go at the first sign of good weather. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3)

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

AAI guide Zach Lovell calling in...

"we had a wonderful rest day today and also worked on some fixed line skills for the upper mountain. Weather is looking really good right now but it's still really cold and High Camp. Hopefully that moves out of there soon so we can out our cache in and get ready to wrap this trip up in style. Will check in with you guys tomorrow."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition (May 21 - June 10) from May 22nd

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead guide Andrew Yasso called to let us know that the team made it to Camp 1 (7,800ft) beneath Ski Hill. They woke up to nice weather and packed up camp and made it through some variable conditions. Everyone is snuggled up in their sleeping bags after enjoying a nice meal and they will prepare to carry to 10,000ft tomorrow. ALSO, here is a photo of the crew before flying onto the glacier. 2 days late but it's good to see everyone nice and clean (they won't look the same in 3 weeks time).


2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition (May 14 - June 3, 2017) from May 21st/22nd

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Lead guide Chad Cochran and AAI guide Jeremy Devine called in. Team 2 has safely and successfully made it to Camp 3 (14,200ft) also known as 14 Camp or Medical Camp. The team woke up yesterday to beautiful blue skies and packed up to make the big move. It took about 7 hours from Camp 2 (11,200ft) to make it to Camp 3. Everyone did well and they enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving meal with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, and chicken breasts. The team will take a rest day tomorrow and soon begin to prepare for moving to the upper mountain.

Monday, May 22, 2017

2017 Denali Expedition Team 1 (May 7 - 27) from May 22nd

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

Lead Guide Tad McCrea called in. A team decision was made to descend down to 14 Camp and off the mountain after forecast of inclement weather at high camp. After determining that there would not be a window for some time the group made the tough choice to turn around. The team picked up their cache around 14 Camp and made their way back to Basecamp. It was a long hard day however among some tired climbers spirits are still high with thoughts of returning home after many long days on the mountain. 

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3) from May 22nd

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Lead Guide Chad Cochran called in. The team woke up early this morning to great weather. Everyone felt strong enough to make their way up to Camp 14. They packed up, fueled up and in about 7 hours the team had made it to 14,000 ft. The weather was great and the camp was not too crowded, so the team had prime choice of camp sites. Even after a long day of climbing everyone was still in high spirits, fueled further by a great turkey dinner.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21- June 10) From May 21 Dispatch #2

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead Guide Andrew Yasso called in after a successful and exciting flight from K2 Aviation to Basecamp (7200') . The team is resting on the Kahiltna Glacier after having set up camp, and being the first ones in for the morning, had camp to themselves! They were able to set up camp quickly and efficiently, showing great teamwork. A full and delicious meal of pasta, bread and brownies for dessert was enjoyed that evening. The plan is to move up the glacier to Camp 1 tomorrow after some glacier travel skills practice. The travel to Camp 1 is about 5 miles of mostly flat terrain with one downhill section on 'Heartbreak Hill'. 

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21- June 10) From May 21 Dispatch #1

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead Guide Andrew Yasso called in. The team is currently in Talkeetna at K2 aviation HQ where the team is all together and packing up and getting ready to fly to the base of Denali. The excitement is high and the weather looks great, allowing the team a prime window to take off for their objective. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 7 - May 27) from May 20th

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs


 
Lead Guide Tad McCrea called in. Today the team rested at 14 Camp after caching just above, where it was quite windy. They All got enjoy some good food , including lots of cheese, and rest today. Everyone is working hard and looking strong an excited to try and make their way to high camp tomorrow, where the weather is looking pretty cold. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3) from May 18th/19th

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Lead guide Chad Cochran called in. Team 2 has cached at 10,000ft below Camp 2 (11,200ft). The plan (after some good rest, food and re packing) it to move to Camp 2 today. Everyone is doing well and doing their best to adjust to the new night schedule.

2017 Denali Expedition Team 1 (May 7 - 27) from May 18th/19th

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

Lead guide Tad McCrea called in. The team has successfully cached above the fixed line at 16,200ft. Everyone did very well and showing more and more that they are a strong team. They are in good position to move to High Camp in the next couple days. The weather has been quite frigid higher on the mountain.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition (May 7 - 27) from May 17th

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

The team made their back carry yesterday retrieving their cache near Windy Corner. They enjoyed a good meal of chicken pesto pasta and some rest. They will train for the fixed lines this afternoon and look to place their upper mountain cache in the next day or so. Weather has been cold up high but a warmer system is moving in.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3) from this morning Wed May 17th

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Team 2 successfully cached below Camp 2 (11,200ft) around 10,000ft. Due to the warmer conditions on the mountain, the team has switched to a night schedule (moving between 1am and 7am) to take advantage of the firmer snow. They enjoyed a delicious meal of couscous to fuel their bodies for the move in colder weather and for the next move to Camp 2.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 7 - 27) from May 15th

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

Lead guide Tad McCrea called in late last night to inform us that Team 1 has safely successfully made it to Camp 3 (14,200ft). The first section of the route had some pretty deep snow but another party broke trail and helped with the move. The team is in a great position now to start thinking about a High Camp strategy along with some well deserved rest days.

2017 Denali West Buttress Team 2 (May 14 - June 3) Dispatch 2

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

AAI guide Zach Lovell called in last night. Team 2 made a full carry to Camp 1 (7,800ft) below Ski Hill. The team did really well and had the benefit of leisurely morning before saddling up and carrying the heavy pack and sleds. Today the plan is to make a cache around 10,000ft to soften the move to Camp 2 (11,200ft). Everyone is in good spirits and excited to get Day 1 out of the way.

Monday, May 15, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 7 - 27) from Sunday May 14th

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

The team took a rest day yesterday (Sunday May 14th). Camp 2 (11,200ft) received over a foot of snow and they decided it was best to let team rest and enjoy some good meals before moving up to Camp 3 (14,200ft). The main ingredient in these meals was cheese (breakfast sandwiches, quesadillas, and pasta and cheese). With the cache already in at 13,500ft the team is in a great position to move on up the mountain.

2017 Denali West Buttress Team 2 (May 14 - June 3) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Lead guide Chad Cochran called in yesterday. The forecast wasn't great in the morning, but good weather prevailed and the whole team made into the range and is on schedule. The enjoyed a good meal of veggie burgers and fresh salad. The plan is to review some glacier skills with the team then rig up the sleds and make their way up to Camp 1 (7800ft).

Here is a photo of the group all bundled up before flying. Wish them well!




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Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Team 1 (May 7 - 27) Dispatch 6

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

AAI lead guide Tad McCrea called in lat last night reporting that the team has successfully cached near Windy Corner (13,500ft) above Camp 2 (11,200ft). They got above the cloud layer and welcomed beautiufl view of Mount Hunter and the upper mountain of Denali. On the way back they clouds grew thicker and brought nearly 1 foot of snow on the camp. The team will look to move to Camp 3 (14,200ft) aka 14 Camp when the weather clears.


Friday, May 12, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 7 - 27) Dispatch 5

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

Lead guide Tad McCrea called in to let us know that the team has successfully made it to Camp 2 (11,200ft).

They enjoyed a good dinner of chicken curry and vegetables prepared by AAI guide Britt Ruegger. The team is in very high spirits and happy to be moving up the mountain. They will back carry today picking up their cache that they left around 10,000ft.

You can join us by wishing Tad McCrea a Happy Birthday! He turns 32 today. Not a bad location to be celebrating a birthday

Thursday, May 11, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Team 1 (May 7 - 27) Dispatch 4

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

AAI lead guide Tad McCrea called in from Camp 1 (7,800ft). The team successfully cached below Camp 2 (11,200ft) yesterday. They enjoyed a delicious meal of beef brisket and mac and cheese made by AAI guide Jared Drapala. A good meal to fuel up for the move to Camp 2 (11,200ft) today! Everyone is looking forward to a good sleep.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition (May 7 - 27) Dispatch 3

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

Lead guide Tad McCrea called in to let us know that not only has the remainder of the team made it onto the mountain, but after arrival they quickly rigged sleds and marched up to Camp 1 (7,800ft)! They enjoyed a good meal and will plan to carry to 10,200ft and making a cache today. Happy to hear the whole team is together and climbing strongly.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 7 - 27) Dispatch 2

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

Lead guide Tad McCrea called this morning. Half of the team made it into Base Camp last night but the second plane unfortunately did not due to poor visibility. They stayed in Talkeetna again last night and will try another flight again today to meet up with the rest of the group.

Hope to hear the sounds of plan engines from Tad's next call.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

2017 Denali Expedition Team 1 (May 7 - 27) Dispatch #1

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Philip "Britt" Ruegger
Jared Drapala

Climbers:

Uli Meyer
Matthias Mueller
Irene Hartman
Beatrice Hirschi
Marianne Schnider
Hubery Schurch
Helmut Stadmuller
Martin Stappung
Alois Fuchs

Hello and welcome to the AAI Denali Expedition Dispatch Blog!

Lead guide Tad McCrea called in to let us know that Team 1 was grounded in Talkeetna due to poor weather and visibility in the lower Alaska Range. The plan was to fly in yesterday (Sunday, May 7th) but they are looking forward to flying in today if the weather improves.

The team will be practicing some expedition skills in the K2 Aviation hangar and doing some more packing. We hope to hear good news from them this afternoon.