Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 20 - June 9, 2018) Dispatch 4

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Ian Mceleney
Katlynne Scaumberg

Climbers:

Xiao Han
William Martin
Chase Bradshaw
Joshua Martin
Michael Knittel
Cory Brooks
Kenneth Morand
James Stewart
Ralph Eberts

Good afternoon this Ian calling form AAI Denali Tema 3. Today is May 23rd and I am coming to you from Camp 2 (11,200ft). Today was our day to move camp from Camp 1 to Camp 2. We got an early start and everyone did a great job being organized and breaking down camp and we actually left camp ahead of schedule which is a rare treat. Made up here in good time, it can get pretty hot on the Kahiltna Glacier in the afternoon and we managed to get up here before that. Since we've been here everyone has been working hard to build a secure and level camp. Tomorow we have a rest day and pick up our cache (back carry) and hopefully, enjoy some pancakes. Hope all is well in the outside world.

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Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 23 - June 12, 2018) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Jeremy Devine
Steve Johnson

Climbers:

Alex Uddin
Adrian Bell
Nick Talbott
Rowena Lewthwaite

Team 4 has checked in from Talkeetna and is enjoying some coffee before heading to the K2 Aviation hangar to fly into Kahiltna BC!



Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 10

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

Denali Team 2, Day 10:

Today we woke to bluebird skies. A welcome relief to the cold night before. Today we managed to retrieve all supplies from our cache back to Camp 3 at 14,000'. Here we will remain until launching our siege higher on the mountain. Tomorrow we will have a rest day and practice fixed line ascension for the climb ahead. Team 2, over and out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 20 - June 9, 2018) Dispatch 3

Guides:


Paul Ivaska
Ian Mceleney
Katlynne Scaumberg

Climbers:

Xiao Han
William Martin
Chase Bradshaw
Joshua Martin
Michael Knittel
Cory Brooks
Kenneth Morand
James Stewart
Ralph Eberts

From AAI guide Katlynne Schaumburg:

Hi this is AAI Denali Team 3 it's just a little after 6pm Alaska time on May 22nd. Today we made a cache at 10,200ft, gained about 2,700ft in about 4 hours. We had clear skies and beautiful weather. We were able to see the upper mountain of Denali and other peaks in the Kahiltna glacier area. Tomorrow we plan on moving camp up to Camp 2 (11,200ft) and retrieving our cache the following day. Everyone is is good spirits and moving really well!

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 9


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

Denali Team 2, Day 9: After a long day of moving our team has reached Camp 3 at 14,200 feet! Tomorrow we will retrieve our supplies at 13,100ft if weather permits. The view from Camp 3 is breathtaking. Hope the weather holds. Team 2, over and out. – George

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 20 - June 9, 2018) Dispatch 2

Guides:


Paul Ivaska
Ian Mceleney
Katlynne Scaumberg

Climbers:

Xiao Han
William Martin
Chase Bradshaw
Joshua Martin
Michael Knittel
Cory Brooks
Kenneth Morand
James Stewart
Ralph Eberts

From AAI guide Ian Mceleney:


Good evening, this Ian from AAI Denali team 3 and we are calling you from Camp 1 (7,800ft). Yesterday was our day to fly in. The weather looked a little questionable, but K2 Aviation got us into Base Camp. We sorted through our mass pile of gear and and made a strong move to Camp 1 before it got too hot. It’s cleared up quite a bit for us so now we can rest this evening and prepare to put our cache in around 10,000ft later tonight or early tomorrow morning. 

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 20 - June 9, 2018) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Ian Mceleney
Katlynne Scaumberg

Climbers:

Xiao Han
William Martin
Chase Bradshaw
Joshua Martin
Michael Knittel
Cory Brooks
Kenneth Morand
James Stewart
Ralph Eberts

Team 3 made it onto the mountain and into BaseCamp last night around 6pm! It wasn't too promising at first with the low cloud cover, but they have established a place at Kahiltna Base Camp and prepare for the big single carry to Camp 1 (7,800ft) beneath Ski Hill. Packs will be heavy, boots will be tight and 21 days of Alaska mountaineering is underway!

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 8

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

Denali Team 2: Day 8. Today the team moved supplies up to 13,000' in preparation for our move to Camp 3 at 14,000'. The weather was beautiful to start the day and windy corner definitely lived up to its name. A few shout outs for the day: Jeff would like to Yeti call to his Mother, and Janice says, “Where is Ron he's missing the Oreos and Snickers”.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Final Dispatch

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

After a brutal stretch of weather that greatly delayed movement and ascension, Team 1 came to a unanimous decision to return to civilization and the comforts of home. The clock was running out on this 21-day expedition and the chances of moving any higher were diminishing. This was the first expedition team on the mountain this year and they broke trail up the Kahiltna for those who followed. They are now safely back in Talkeetna and look forward to thawing out and thinking about next year!

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 7


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

From AAI Guide George Bieker:

Denali Team 2, Day 7. Our team was stuck at Camp 2 for most of the day. High winds, precip, and low visibility was the theme. At about 16:00 our team split into two. Half of us tended to camp and the other half retrieved the cache at 9200'.

Climber Notes: Leah wishes her daughter Emily a happy birthday. And Jake found a hair tie. Team 2, over and out. - George


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 6


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

From AAI Guide George Bieker:

Team 2 enjoyed a well-earned rest day today at Camp 2 (11,200ft) in cold, windy and snowy conditions. So goes life on Denali. The team did get to engorge on some excellent mountain food. Pancakes, cheesecake, and chicken alfredo were just some of the fine fare we had for food. We will wait for weather forecasts and be ready for a swift cache above Windy Corner (13.500ft). Team 2, over and out. -George

Friday, May 18, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 5


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

From AAI Guide Chad Cochran:

Hello all, We made it to Camp 2 (11,200ft) last night. The team doing great despite some rough weather conditions. Everyone enjoyed some well-deserved pancakes for breakfast this morning. This is always a tough move day from Camp 1 (7,800ft) to Camp 2 (11,200ft). It was a hard day but the team did very well and now we can look forward to a rest day tomorrow as we prepare our strategy for caching below Camp 3 (14,200ft).



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 10


Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

From AAI guide Tad McCrea:

"Hello out there sports fans, this is Tad McCrea reporting from Camp 2 11,200ft on Denali. Today we had yet, another rest slash weather day. Blowing snow and no visibility continues. We enjoyed a lot of hot food and drinks in the cook tent hoping the sun would break through the clouds, but it didn't. We were hoping to move to medical camp or Camp 3 (14,200ft) so we will delay our plans one more day and hopefully make it up there tomorrow."

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 4

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

From AAI Guide George Bieker"

Today AAI Denali Team 2 moved supplies (cached) at 9,800 feet beneath Kahiltan Pass. There, we left gear for the upper mountain and a few days worth of food. After returning to Camp 1 (7,800ft) we had an excellent meal prepared by Chad and now prepare for the move to Camp 2 (11,200ft) tomorrow, weather permitting. Denali Team 2, over and out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 9

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

From AAI guide Tad McCrea:

"Good evening sports fans, this is Team 1. Today was pretty uneventful as we were afforded another weather day. It was a good day to rest as we've had some intense move days and cached above Windy Corner yesterday, but the machine doesn't like to stand idle. We will stick to our plan and try to make it to Camp 3 (14,200ft) tomorrow."

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 3

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

From AAI Guide George Bieker Denali Team 2:

Today our team managed to complete the longest single leg of the West Buttress route, the move to Camp 1 (7,800ft). Over 5.5 miles we traveled, carrying all of the supplies for the next 17 days of our expedition. Through variable conditions, we managed to wand the route nearly the entire way. If the weather holds we will move a cache below Camp 2 (11,200ft) tomorrow and return here (Camp 1) for acclimatization. Team 2, Over and Out. -George.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 8

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

Team 1 had an excellent day of weather and made their cache above Windy Corner (13,500ft). Some light snow flurries brushed the camp but the team still moved well and set themselves up for the big move to Camp 3 (14,200k) in the coming days. They are a couple days behind schedule but with some promising weather on the horizon, should be able to get back on track.

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 2

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

From AAI Guide George Bieker:

Day 2 at basecamp started with cinnamon rolls under blue skies. Our team covered the basics of glacier travel and crevasse rescue. Snow flurries throughout the day didn't dampen our spirits.
We look forward to the move to camp tomorrow if the weather holds. Lenticular clouds over Sultana darken the sky as we prepare for the night. Team 2, over and out.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 13 - June 2, 2018) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jim Mediatore
George Bieker

Climbers:

Jacob Shaw
Daniel Tucker
Janice Schmidt
Jeff Iezzi
Catherine Hibberd
Leah Jay
Richard Pullan
Qaisra Saeed

From AAI Guide George Bieker:

"Denali Team 2 arrived on the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier on the afternoon of Sunday, May 13th. We were fortunate enough to have bluebird skies during our 45-minute flight into the range. We have now established basecamp and will check supplies and cover technical skills before our move to Camp 1 (7,800ft). Weather permitting we will make our move to Camp 1 today. Team 2, over and out." - George

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Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 7

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

From Lead Guide Tad McCrea:

"Hello, sports fans. Happy to report that we finally made it to Camp 2 (11,200ft) today. we woke up to beautiful weather, much better weather than we were expecting and made our way up to camp. We got camp set up pretty efficiently and had a delicious Thanksgiving meal made by Calvin. Probably the best meal I've ever had in the Alaska Range. Our plan is to cache above Windy Corner (13,500ft) tomorrow and take advantage of this awesome weather. Very excited to be making a dispatch without talking about the snowfall or whiteout conditions."

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 6

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

From lead guide Tad McCrea:

"Hello, all. Hope everyone had a good weekend. We are on day four of being at 10,000ft. The weather subsided for us today but was still too marginal to travel. It was nice to get a small break from digging but we still saw about 10 inches of snowfall. Tomorrow, our plan is to cache or move to Camp 2 (11,200ft) and prepare some campsites. There will be a lot of snow waiting for us. Send us some good weather vibes!"

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 5

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

Team 1 remains in a holding pattern at 10,00ft. Heavy snowfall continues below 12,000ft on the mountain. The team was able to get some movement when they retrieved a cache they left at 10,200ft a few days ago. When they returned to camp they dug, and dug, and dug some more. The weather for tomorrow is looking sunny and they are expecting a break from the snow and whiteout conditions. "We look forward to breaking trail up to Camp 2!" - Tad

Friday, May 11, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 4

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

Team 1 is still camped at 10,000ft just before Kahiltna Pass. The last 24 hours have been quite blustery and provided no visibility for the team to make their move to Camp 2 (11,200ft). They enjoyed a rest day while hiding from the wind in the tents and had an excellent pancake meal made by Calvin.

2018 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Ascent (May 05-18, 2018) Dispatch 1


Guide:
Diego Zurita

Climbers: Marina K., Dale W., Micaleila D., Nicholas W., Renn S.

Dispatch from Days 1-8:

Our team has been doing well with acclimatization and felt good on the Cayambe ascent.

After our initial day and two nights in Quito at about 9400 feet, we had good acclimatization hikes on Pasachoa (13,776 ft / 4199 m) and then on Monday climbing Rucu Pichincha (15,413 ft / 4697 m). It's been a weird week for weather. It's usually nice at this time of year, but we had rain and even some snow on the summit of Pichincha! Very unusual.

Today (May 10) we have just returned to the Ruales Berg Orleas Hut on Cayambe after a great attempt on the summit. The past three days have been very snowy, so the glacier was covered with fresh snow. Four of our five climbing team members wanted to make the attempt, and under challenging conditions, I am happy to report that we made it all the way to 18,740 feet on this 18,996-foot mountain. The final section is pretty steep and would have taken at least an additional hour, and with the winds picking up, we decided it would be better to choose that as our high point and head down.

With wind and snow it was a challenging climb, and I was very impressed with how everyone did. They stayed warm, worked hard, and were very determined. I think everyone is very pleased with what they achieved, and they should be!

The weather forecast is for clearing starting Friday, so we are pretty confident that we will have good conditions on Cotopaxi, our next big goal. We'll keep you posted.

We are now looking forward to a great meal and a big sleep at beautiful Hacienda Guachala and then an easy day on Friday as we move south to Cotopaxi National Park. Bye for now!


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 3

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

AAI guide Calvin Morris reported that Team 1 is camped on the Kahiltna Glacier. They experienced whiteout conditions during their move day to Camp 2 (11,200ft). Conditions prompted the group to make camp. They enjoyed a delicious meal of pasta, salad and garlic bread which will hopefully fuel them the rest of the way to Camp 2 when the weather improves.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 2

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 2

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

A report from lead guide Tad McCrea confirmed that Team 1 has made it to Camp 1 (7,800ft) at the base of Ski Hill. After landing at Base Camp Monday evening some interesting weather impeded the team's original move. Now, they are enjoying sunny skies at Camp 1 and preparing to place a cache below Camp 2 (11,200ft) around 10,200ft today.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 1 (May 6 - 26, 2018) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Ulrich Meyer
Alois Fuchs
Beat Weber
Erwin Goergen
Helmut Staudmueller
Mathias Mueller

Welcome to the first Denali West Buttress Expedition dispatch of the 2018 season!

After Team 1 was shut out of the range yesterday due to weather, lead guide Tad McCrea notified us that the team is about to fly into Kahiltna BaseCamp in a few minutes. The team is prepped to start walking upon arrival and will attempt to reach Camp 1 (7,800ft) today.

Safe travels to the team!