Tuesday, June 25, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 13

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 has returned to Talkeetna and are starting to make their departures home.  Everyone is doing well and had a great trip! 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 12

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 payed homage to Summer Solstice in true alpine style...everyone tagged the tip-top of North America. Way to go team 6!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 11

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 is at High Camp (17,300ft). They arrived late in the afternoon and a looking forward to a ramen dinner. Weather is looking good for a summit attempt either Friday or Saturday.
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 10

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 is set to make a move up to High Camp today.  They will check in when they are settled in. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 9

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 has placed their cache above the Fixed Lines and are ready to move up to Camp 4/High Camp in the coming days.

For more details on the West Buttress route visit our Denali Expedition webpage and look under the "Route" description tab.


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 14

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 is off the mountain and has returned to Talkeetna, AK. From here everyone will begin their departures home. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 13

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 has made it back to Base Camp where they will await for their flight back to Talkeetna. Weather has been fair and everyone is continues to be in high spirits, eating well, and having a wonderful time. 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 8

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 took a rest day today at Camp 3. They did spend some time on the  fixed lines reviewing techniques to make sure everyone is comfortable before heading up with full gear loads. 
 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 7

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche



Team 6 sends out a "Happy Father's Day"message from Camp 3. Monday, they plan a skills day on on the Fixed Lines before moving up to the next camp in the coming days. 


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 12

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 spent another rest day at Camp 3 (14,300ft). If weather holds out, they plan to move down to Base Camp and fly out on Monday. 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 6

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 has moved up to Camp 3. Mac and Cheese is on the dinner menu tonight.


Saturday, June 15, 2019


Ecuador High Altitude Trip Report

Guide: Romel Sandoval

Climbers: Chris B., Brian R., Mengezi N.


Hi Again!  This is Romel calling from Ecuador to let you know we have been on Chimborazo for the last couple of days but not able to climb the mountain.  

We stayed at the hut on Tuesday night and woke up Wednesday morning with the plan to move to a high camp on the mountain's flank.    We made it to the high camp area as planned, but it was so windy – and getting worse – that it wasn't at all practical to set up camp.  It was crazy.  

So we turned around and headed back down to the refuge for the night, thinking we could make the climb from there early Thursday.  It would have been a much longer day but probably still possible for our team to summit if we had decent weather.    

Wednesday afternoon and night it stayed about the same.  The wind was a little less strong, but it really wasn't much of an improvement.  So the team thought about climbing in the weather just to see how far we could get, or taking the other option which was to head down to the town of Baños, where we had planned to go after the climb.  

Baños is off the high plain of Ecuador's Central Valley, and is part way down a narrow river valley that leads to the Amazon Basin.  The town has palm trees and hot springs, so as we debated and put our noses in the wind, we came to the conclusion that Baños was the best idea.  So here we are, having left the alpine zone for a semi-tropical paradise.  

It has been really strange weather for June.  Usually it is quite nice at this time of year, but today (Friday) we have a warm rain.  We had a good breakfast and then headed out for a hike to a beautiful waterfall.  Everyone enjoyed being in the warm environment.  The intense green here is quite the contrast to the beautiful mountains where we have been, the land of rock and ice.  

Late this afternoon we are driving back to Quito where we will have our final dinner together before heading home tomorrow morning.

We've had a great trip and a fun time together !  Good food and great company in the beautiful mountains.  And finally, thanks for reading our news.
.

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 5

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 has placed their cache at 13,500ft. They will move up to Camp 3 tomorrow.  Weather has been great and everyone is doing well. 


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 11

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 has moved back down to Camp 3 (14,300ft) where they will take a rest day before moving down to Base Camp. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 10

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 checked in from High Camp after a successful summit day! The weather was perfect and everyone was feeling strong, so it all came together for a fantastic day on Denali. After their return to camp they refueled and rested for the night. They will begin the process of moving back down the mountain. Way to go Team 5! 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 4

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Sam Fletcher
Parker Kempf

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 has moved up to Camp 2. The day started out in hot conditions, but as they crested Ski Hill the temperatures became more pleasant. The plan for the next few days is to retrieve their cache from below Camp 2 and begin to move toward Camp 3.


Guide Parker Kempf has returned to Talkeetna due to illness. Guide Sam Fletcher has joined Team 6 to fill in for the remainder of the trip.


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 9

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 has moved up to High Camp (17,300ft).  They are looking at a bid for the summit either on Friday or Saturday. Everyone is doing well and spirits are high. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 4

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Parker Kempf

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 checked into the office from Camp 1.  They are taking a rest and acclimitization day before moving up to Camp 2. Everyone is doing great and looking forward to the next push up. 

No audio to go with this distpatch. 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 8

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 checking in from Camp 3 (14,200ft).  They had a great day on the mountain. Resting up, acclimitizing, and carbo. loading. They are prepared to move up to High Camp (17,300ft) and the weather is looking good for a planned summit attempt on Friday. 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 7

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 took a rest day at Camp 3 (14,200ft) today. They filled their bellies with delicious brown bread sandwiches and enjoyed the down time.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

2019 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition (Trip 6: June 01-10, 2019) Dispatch 2

Ecuador High Altitude Trip Report


Guide: Romel Sandoval


Climbers:
 Chris B., Brian R., Mengezi N.


After two days of heavy rain and strong wind, the team took advantage of a good weather window to make their summit bid up Cayambe. The team pushed up to 17,000 ft. in agreeable weather but the altitude got the better of them and they made the decision to descend for some rest and recovery. Although the team is disappointed not to have made the summit, Bryan reports that they're still in high spirits and that the cultural aspect of the trip has been a high point. 


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 3

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Parker Kempf

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

It was a hot and sunny day on the mountain, so Team 6 really worked up a sweat moving their cache up to 10K feet, placing it just below Camp 2. They returned to Camp 1 (7,800ft) for black bean burger dinner and a good night's sleep.  They will move themselves and the rest of the gear up to Camp 2 in the coming days.

Monday, June 10, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 2

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Parker Kempf

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 checking in from Camp 1 (7,800ft). The team is off to a great start. After leaving Talkeetna and landing at Base Camp, they made quick work of rigging sleads and having lunch, before heading up to their first camp and night on the mountain. 


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 12

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 has made it down to Camp 3 (14,200ft) where they will stay for the night. Monday they plan to descend to Base Camp and hopefully fly out. 
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 6

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 calling from Camp 3 (14,200ft). They spent the day retrieving their cache from below at 13,500ft and will move it up to cache at 16,000ft. They celebrated the day's hard work and appreciation for being on the "Great One"with a Thanksgiving Dinner.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29) - Dispatch 1

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Parker Kempf

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 is departing Talkeetna and flying into base camp. The plan is to head to Camp 1 for the first night on the mountain. 



2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 11

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 has returned to Camp 4 (17,300ft) after successfully making it to the summit! Everyone is feeling proud of their accomplishment and thankful the weather held out. The team will start to work their way back down the mountain and fly out of base camp in the coming days. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 5

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Under sunny skies, Team 5 was able to move up to Camp 3 today. Everyone is doing great. 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 16

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

 Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

Team 3 is off the mountain and back in the town of Talkeetna. Everyone is doing great. 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 9 - 29)

Guides:

Will Gordon
Wyatt Evenson
Parker Kempf

Climbers:

Andrew Zuehlke
Damian Browne
Liza Hunter-Galvan
Danzi Lu
Eric Tutterow
Joshua Schulte
Finn Ghent
Michael Perche

Team 6 has met in Anchorage and enjoyed a pre-expedition team meal. Looking forward to good flying weather tomorrow!



2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 10

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 has reached Camp 4 (17,300ft). Weather window is looking promising for a summit attempt in the next few days. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 15

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

 Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk



Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 9

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 takes a rest day at Camp 3 (14,200ft) 


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 4

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 reaches reaches Camp 2 (11,200ft)


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 18

Guides:
Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

 Climbers: Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 begins descent after final summit push 

2019 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition (Trip 6: June 01-10, 2019) Dispatch 1

Ecuador High Altitude Trip Report


Guide: Romel Sandoval


Climbers:
Chris B., Brian R., Mengezi N.


"Hello – this is Romel calling from Ecuador to let you know we had a successful climbing of Rucu Pichincha [4,697m /15,413 ft] and that we had a wonderful day!

The weather was very nice and everyone was feeling good with the altitude. Besides doing a walking tour of Quito [2,850 m / 9,350 ft at the beginning of the program, this as our second high altitude hiking day after Pasochoa [4,199m /13,776 ft].

We made good time on the hike and with the weather so nice, we enjoyed the views al the way up and then spent a lot of time on the summit, identifying the many peaks, taking photos, eating of course – basically enjoying the great views together.

We descended and then drove north to the old Hacienda Guachala which operated a farm on the slopes below Cayamabe [5,790m / 18,996 ft] our first big climbing goal.

Everyone is a little tired, but we're going to have a very nice, low-key evening to recover. Our job this evening is to eat well and rest, then get up moderately early for breakfast and then a drive up to the Cayambe hut. We'll do another moderate acclimatization hike in the afternoon, demonstrate some climbing techniques.

The next day we'll head up to the glacier to work on glacier climbing skills for the ascent, and our plan will be to have an early dinner and an early to-bed-time so we can get up at about 11 pm. We want to make a very early start on the climb – hopefully by midnight – so we climbing in the coldest part of the night.

Hopefully it will freeze, as that will give us really good climbing conditions on the glacier surface. If the glacier's surface snow is frozen, it will make it a lot easier and take less energy then if it is soft or sloppy.

We won't have a good signal at the hut, so we'll try to call in a report late Friday or Saturday when we are back at the hacienda. Wish us good luck on the our climb! "



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 14

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

 Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

 Team 3 plans to move to High Camp/Camp 4 (17,300ft) tomorrow


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 8

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 rests at Camp 3 (14,200ft) and prepares for fixed lines.
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 3

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 reaches Camp (7,800ft) and caches at 10,000ft just below Camp 2 (11,200ft)


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 7

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

A successful few days for Team 4 as they moved up to Camp 3 (14,200ft)



2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 17


Guides:
Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

 Climbers: Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 rests and acclimatizes at High Camp (17,300ft) in high winds
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 13


Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

 Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

 Team 3 still patiently waiting for a weather window at Camp 3 (14,200ft)


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 6


Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 continues planning and preparing to move to Camp 3 (14,200ft) as challenging weather hits the lower mountain

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 2


Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

Team 5 changes to a night a schedule for stronger snow bridges and firmer conditions on the glacier as they move to Camp 1 (7,800ft)

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 12

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

 Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

 Team 3 patiently waits for a weather window at Camp 3 (14,200ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 16

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

 Climbers: Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 rests and acclimatizes at High Camp (17,300ft)
 

Monday, June 3, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 11

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

Team 3 takes a rest day at Camp 3 (14,200ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 15


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 first summit attempt delayed due to weather. Preparing for their next attempt.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 5 (June 2 - June 22, 2019) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Jared Drapala
Katlynne Schaumberg

Climbers:

Tor Brigg-Gjesdal
Frank Wendt
Poobalan Kannan
Richard Capelouto
Jeffrey Capelouto
Corin Kwasnik
Eric Ferguson
Mimmi Snell
Brad Hartman

AAI Team 5 is headed t Kahiltna Base Camp (7,300ft)


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 10

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

Team 3 caches above the fixed line (16,750ft) and returns to Camp 3 (14,200ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 14


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 moves to High Camp/Camp 4 (17,300ft)



2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 5

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot


Saturday, June 1, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 4


Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 caches at Windy Corner (13,500ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 13

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 has an enjoyable and fun rest day at Camp 3 (14,200ft) while preparing upper mountain strategy.


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 9

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

 Climbers:

 James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

 Team 3 rests at Camp 3 (14,200ft) and prepares upper mountain strategy.
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 16


Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath
  Team returning to Base Camp

Friday, May 31, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 3

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 moves to Camp 2 (11,200ft)



2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 8


Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

Team retrieves cache from Windy Corner (13,500ft)


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 12


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 caches at 16,200ft above fixed lines

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 15

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

Team's summit attempt yesterday halted due to weather. Second attempt today or tomorrow.
 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

2019 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition (Trip 5 May 18 - 27, 2019) Dispatch 2


Ecuador High Altitude Trip Report

Guide: Franklin Varela

Climber: Nicolas Nolen

On Tuesday, May 28th we got our second dispatch from Nick Nolan calling in to report on the progress of his climbs in the Ecuadorian Andes.

He and Franklin just came down from Cotopaxi after "tough but great" climb. Nick says that windy and cold conditions made the climb a difficult one, but that the solid snowpack gave them confidence to move up the mountain safely. Nick was thrilled to announce that they made the summit!

They are now on their way to the first Chimborazo camp and will call again after their ascent.


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 14

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

Team acclimatizes toat Camp 4/High Camp (17,300ft). Summit attempt today. 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 11

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 moves to retrieves cache at Windy Corner (13,500ft) and returns to Camp 3 (14,200ft).

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 7



Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

Team 3 moves to Camp 3 (14,200ft)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 2


Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

Team 4 makes a swift move to Camp 1 (7,800ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 4 (May 26 - June 15, 2019) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Higinio Gonzalez
Seth White
Sam Fletcher

Climbers:

Russell Hornsby
Stefan Nel
Jason Schocker
Sarah Turje
Chris Parrot
Graham Parrot

After a few rain-soaked days in Talkeetna and rough weather in the Alaska Range, Team 4 flew into Kahiltan Base Camp (7,300ft). A couple days behind schedule, the team will try to move to Camp 1 (7,800ft) swiftly and take advantage of good weather.

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 13



Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

Team moves to Camp 4/High Camp (17,300ft).
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 10



Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 moves to Camp 3 (14,200ft)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 6


Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

 Team 3 caches at Windy Corner (13,500ft) and returns to Camp 2 (11,200ft).
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Final Dispatch


Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder

AAI Denali Team 1 has returned to Talkeetna after a safe and successful expedition.


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 12


Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

Team remains at Camp 3 (14,200ft) in heavy snowfall and high winds waiting for a weather window. 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 9


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 remains at Camp 2 (11,200ft) after heavy snowfall.


Monday, May 27, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 5

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

 Team 3 remains at Camp 2 (11,200ft) waiting out the storm.
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 8

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 remains at Camp 2 (11,200ft) in blizzard weather. 
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 11

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

Team remains at Camp 3 (14,200ft) in rough weather.
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Returns to BC


Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder

Team 1 has returned to Kahiltna Base Camp (7,200ft) and awaits good weather to fly off the mountain.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 7

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 rests at Camp 2 (11,200ft) and plans to move to Camp 3 today. 
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 4



Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

Team 3 moves to Camp 2 (11,200ft)

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 10

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

Team remains at Camp 3 (14,200ft)


Saturday, May 25, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Summit Dispatch

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder

Team 1 summits May 24th!


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 6

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 caches at Windy Corner (13,500ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 3


Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

Team 3 carries to 10,000ft
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 9


Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

Team caches food and equipment at 16,200ft.

Friday, May 24, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 5


Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team moves to Camp 2 (11,200ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 12

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder

Team 1 moves to High Camp (17,200ft). Will make summit attempt today or tomorrow.
 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 2

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

 Team 3 moves to Camp 1 (7,800ft)
 

2019 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition (Trip 5 May 18 - 27, 2019) Dispatch 1


Ecuador High Altitude Trip Report

Guide: Franklin Varela

Climber: Nicolas Nolen

On Wednesday, May 22nd, Nick called into the office and gave us an optimistic report of their trip beginning on the 18th of May. Nicks reports that their trip has been great with nice sunny weather coming in after some rain a few days prior. Nick says that they've enjoyed delicious food and are feeling ready to enjoy the exciting climbing and beautiful views!

Thanks for reading our trip report!


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 3 (May 22 - June 11, 2019) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Calvin Morris
Julie Ann Holder

Climbers:

James Cocco
James Kinkaid
John Brown
Odd Bolin
David Christian
Arve Blitzner
Krisli Melesk

Team 3 is on the mountain! After a safe and beautiful flight into Kahiltna Base Camp (7,200ft) yesterday afternoon, the team stayed the night at BC and prepared their heavy packs and sleds for the 5.5-mile walk to Camp 1 (7,800ft).

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 8

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 11

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder

Team 1 rests at Camp 3 (14,200ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 4

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 7

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

Team reaches Camp 3 (14,200ft) and rests.
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 10

Guides:
Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder

Team 1 rests at Camp 3 (14,200ft)
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 3

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler

Team 2 caches at 10,000ft and returns to Camp 1 (7,800)
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2019 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition (Trip 4 May 4 - 13, 2019) Dispatch 1



Ecuador High Altitude Trip Report

Guide: Estalin Suarez

Climbers:  Lauren Walker, Ron Schincke, Dana Chambourova, Camille Considine, Julia Merz, Nikita Krasnikov and William Humphreys-Cloutier.

Early in the trip we heard from Dana who reported that on Monday (the second full day of the trip) the group had a success on their acclimatization ascent of 13,776-foot (4199 m) Pasachoa.  She said it was a bit cloudy and windy but there was no rain.  She added that she is enjoying the group a lot and also really likes the food!  Dana also noted that after arriving Friday and Saturday, the team had a nice Sunday morning breakfast and then did an equipment check followed by an enjoyable walking tour of historic sites of Quito.  

On Tuesday, guide Estalin called to say they had their second success in a major acclimatization hike, this time to the summit of 15,413-foot (4697 m) Rucu Pichincha.  He said they had a beautiful sunny day and were treated to great views of Quito and many of Ecuador's high altitude summits to the Northland south along the "avenue of the Volcanoes."  He added that team members were acclimatizing well and looking forward to their climb of Cayambe in a couple of days.

At the end of the trip Lauren called with a summary of their two big climbs.

Hello!  

This is Lauren calling on behalf of our climbing team.  I'm calling from Quito to let you know that we summited Cotopaxi this morning at 5:50!  It was an awesome climb, and we are so pleased to have succeeded. 

This has been a great trip in all respects.  We've had a lot of fun together, and our guides have been absolutely awesome.  I think my fellow climbers have enjoyed each aspect of the trip as much as I did, from exploring Quito to making really beautiful acclimatization hikes.

Before telling you about the climb, I'll say that we enjoyed the lodges and the good food, and for me it was also fun being a the huts, so close to the mountains and being with other climbers.  I hadn't thought much about it before the trip, but being in the huts was definitely fun.

Our first big climb was on [18,996-foot / 5790 m] Cayambe.  We felt pretty well acclimatized by the time we made our ascent.  The weather was good but actually a little too warm.  The guides explained that a lot of new crevasses had been opening up over the last week, and about a thousand feet below the summit, they decided we should turn back because of the weak snow bridges over the crevasses.  

It was a beautiful day, but it was just a little too warm.  And it was exciting to have clear views of Cotopaxi and Chimborzo way in the distance.  It was too bad not to go to the top, but the decision the guides made seemed totally sensible.  The climbing was really nice and the views were awesome.

After that climb we had a second night at the Hacienda Guachalá before heading south to Cotopaxi National Park.  It's beautiful countryside, and we were especially happy to be staying at Tambopata Lodge which is just across a rolling grassy plane from our next peak, Cotopaxi.  We really enjoyed being at the lodge in such a scenic place and being able to examine our next climbing goal across the grasslands.

The next day we drove and hiked to the José Rivas hut on the side of Cotopaxi.  The day was nice but the weather forecast wasn't too good, so we discussed possibly making our climb that afternoon but in the end decided not to because of the mild temperatures.  [ed. note:  They wanted firm/frozen conditions on the glacier.  We enjoyed hanging out in the big hut and enjoying some great food. 

We went to bed early so we could make an early start in the coolest conditions of the new day.  I woke up at 11 pm, hearing the wind howling outside.  I thought, "OK, this is going to be interesting!"  We had breakfast and discussed the plan for the day.  The guides were not convinced we were going to see any improvement in the weather, but they said if we wanted to give it a try, we would see how it goes and just get as high as we could.  We were all ready to give it a go.

It rained for the first hour of our climb, but it stopped around the time that we got off the lower rocky slope and onto the glacier.  It was pretty windy though, and it stayed about the same all the way to the top.  The conditions on the glacier were really good, and the climbing was fun.  

As we climbed higher, we got above a lot of low clouds and actually saw the sunrise over the Amazon just was we were getting to the summit.  Higher clouds were coming and going, so we got and lost views repeatedly.  We had good views of some of Ecuador's other high peaks, and that was awesome.  And Cotopaxi's crater was huge and deep!

We were on the 19,348-foot summit for about 20 minutes, part of that time waiting for the second part of our group to summit.  We didn't snack as we had planned because of the wind.  We weren't uncomfortable, but it was very "dynamic" up there! 

Our guides said we made good time.  We started the climb at 11:45 pm, summited at 5:50 am, and arrived back at the hut at 8:00 am.  And yes, we had a super second breakfast when we got back to the hut and had a little rest before heading back to Quito a few hours to the north.  It was a great day for us!   

All in all, it was an awesome trip!  It was totally fun to be be with our guides.  They did a great job. Absolutely awesome!  And we saw so many cool places on the trip.  The hikes were great, the climbing was excellent, and even being up in the mountain huts was a lot of fun.

We had a great team and a great trip.  Thanks for reading our report!


2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 2

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 9

Guides:
Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

Monday, May 20, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 6

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 2 (May 19 - June 8, 2019) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Kevin McGarity
George Bieker

Climbers:

Josh Hoyle
Robert Bradshaw
Jard Bringedal
Joanne Drummond
Andrew Green
Nicola Simpson
Nicola Tannahil
Maleka Taylor
Robert Tyler
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 8

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 7

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 5

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath
 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 6

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 4

Guides:

Ian McEleney Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath
 

Friday, May 17, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 5

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 3

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath
 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 2

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 4

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 3

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:
Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath
 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team "Everesters on Denali" (May 14 - June 3, 2019)

Guides:

Ian McEleney
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Ajeet Bajaj
Deeya Bajaj
Sangeeta Bahl
Poorna Malavath

AAI's Everesters on Denali team has flown into Kahiltna Base Camp @ (7,200ft).

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 2

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

Monday, May 13, 2019

2019 AAI Denali West Buttress Expedition - Team 1 (May 12 - June 1, 2019) Dispatch 1

Guides:

Tad McCrea
Will Gordon

Climbers:

Hansruedi Buchi
Stephan Krebs
Christoph Konrad Mathis
Christian Schardt
Andreas Schneider
Niklaus Stalder
 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

2019 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition (Trip 3 February 9 - 23, 2019) Dispatch 2

Ecuador High Altitude Trip Report

Guide: Jaime Avila

Climbers: Tyler and David Wesorick, Gillian Ingram, and Andrew Hughes

Jaime called today with more details on the successful ascent of Chimborazo yesterday, February 21st.

“Hello again from Ecuador, this time from beautiful semi-tropical Baños!

Yesterday we had a great climb of Chimborazo. We started hiking from high camp at 1:00 am and enjoyed good climbing the whole way. There was a little fresh snow, maybe 5 or 6 inches, but it was on top of very firm snow, so the climbing was quite easy.

We were going along at a good pace, but I didn’t realize how fast we were going until we were approaching the summit – and we stood on that at 6:00 am! Five hours from high camp to the summit is extremely unusual! It is common to spend at least several more hours on the ascent. This is a very fit team, to say the least!

It was fun to be the first up the mountain and to have a good amount of time to ourselves on the summit.

We spend 45 minutes on top, waiting for dawn and a pretty sunrise, but we never got it. Yes, dawn did arrive, but the clouds were too plentiful, and we really didn’t get any color in the sky.

But we were happy! The temperature was 23° F on top so not too cold, and there was no breeze. So we were comfortable eating and relaxing as we waited for dawn, but, as you can see in the photo below, there was no beautiful symphony of colors playing in a sunrise to celebrate our success as we were hoping! We concluded that the mountain gods are neutral with regard to the success and failure of humans climbing mountains. We were okay with that and also aware we didn’t have a choice! – and we were very happy! 



It was a long day down the mountain, but the descent of the mountain went smoothly. We had a break and a little more food at the base camp and then headed down in our vehicle back to the central valley and then down and out of it through a valley that led to Baños. After all the time in the alpine and sub-alpine environments, everyone had a good time in the warm moist air with views of palm trees. What a contrast.

It was a hugely successful trip, overall, with everyone summiting Cayambe in difficult conditions –the weather wasn't great and, in a few places, we were briefly climbing through snow up to our knees. But everyone made it, and that was very exciting. And then on Cotopaxi, we started out in clouds and some wind but between 4 and 5 am the clouds disappeared and we were treated not only to a full moon but also to a sky totally full of stars. At high altitude, it’s amazing how the stars totally fill every inch of the sky. And yes, on Cotopaxi, we were trerast to a very special sunrise over the Amazon.

We have had a wonderful time together in the mountain and feel lucky to have shared this time and these successes together.

That’s all our new. So long from Baños!”