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Jul 042011
 
14K camp on Denali

14K camp on Denali

If you have been following us on the SPOT Tracker, you know we arrived at the 14,000′ Camp on Denali this afternoon, July 5th. This camp is a major milestone on a West Buttress expedition. The day had a little of everything.

We awoke at 4:00 AM to the first clear skies in almost a week. Of course with clear skies comes cold temperatures. It reached 17F in our tent last night and almost zero outside.

We packed up camp and loaded sleds for the last time – going up – this expedition. From now on everything is carried on our backs. The climb up Ski Hill was straightforward and the conditions comfortable. But once clear of the gully that hosted our Camp 2, the winds picked up significantly.

Out came more layers and goggles. We made steady progress up Squirrel Hill, named after an alleged sighting years ago. No sightings today, it was cold.

However the biggest obstacle of the day was crossing under the unstable rock around Windy Corner. In 2007, rock fall killed one climber and seriously injured several others. Today, all teams push as hard as possible to get by this area quickly.

We doubled our pace and felt the strain of a heavy pack, sled and approaching 14,000′. Of note, the effective altitude is several thousand feet higher because the barometric pressure is lower near the earth’s poles so it felt like we were approaching 16 or 17,0000′.

Winded by the pace, our team successfully navigated Windy Corner. We passed our cache we left yesterday and soon reached the 14 Camp. With few clouds, the view amazing.

We set up camp, began to rehydrate and enjoy a short rest. The MT Guides have started to melt snow for cooking dinner as I type. We will spend at least four nights here.

Tomorrow, we retrieve the cache. Then a full rest day on Thursday followed by a difficult day of carrying a load up the 2,000′ Headwall where we will establish a cache around 16,500′.

If the weather holds, we will move to our High Camp at 17,200′ on Saturday. Then if Denali is willing we will go for the summit on Monday, July 11th. However, I would shocked if this schedule holds. In 2007, I waited for good summit weather at the 14 Camp for 8 days – not uncommon.

We have plenty of food, shelter from storms and a strong team; so we are ready for what comes.

For those new to 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything; I make a simple request. Please donate one penny for every foot I climb to one of the three Alzheimer’s organizations we selected.

100% goes to Alzheimer’s zero to me. Please use the DONATE button on this page. For Denali the full donation would be $119.

Today as I went around Windy Corner with my lungs screaming, I knew that every step I took brought in desperately needed funds for research, education, family caregiver support and awareness.

That is what gives me strength, that is what these climbs are all about.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything

Research funding for Alzheimer’s is less than 0.3 percent of medical care cost for the disease. For cancer, it’s 3 percent; for HIV/AIDS, it is 20 percent (source: UsAgainstAlzheimer's)
Alzheimer's disease is the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed

  9 Responses to “Denali 14K Camp: Another World”

  1. Good going Alan! Amazing effort to go from Everest and onto another strenuous climb so soon. I’m glad to hear you and the team are going well and hope things keep progressing nicely. My fingers are crossed for good weather for you. (Say hi to Jay for me as well!)

  2. Alan, I am mesmerized by your power of your message and intention-I will support Memories-now a daily follower, please give my love to Eli (son-in-law) and safe trails to all!

  3. Hi Alan-
    I am thinking about you and your team and you prepare for your summit push. Take Care,Donna

  4. I wish you all of my luck, best wishes!

    Stay focused

  5. Alan…great job to 14,000’…get some active rest days in…out to the edge of the world. Good luck up the headwall and super weather at high camp…getting close!!!!
    “One day at a time!!!!”

    John
    :)

  6. Good work,you and rest of team.Isnt 14k camp also known as “medical,or med” camp?Climbing the headwall will take you past where your last attempt ended because of illness.Wishing you good luck,and good weather.

  7. Alan, great job making it to the 14K camp! Hope you have some relaxing days before you go for the summit. I am glad to hear that everybody on your team is doing well. Please tell Jay that I miss him. Good luck!

  8. Hi Alan – glad you are making good, steady progress. Rest well, and I hope the weather is kind to you for a successful summit bid next week!

  9. Well done Alan. Stay warm, and keep climbing on!