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Jeremy.0

[TR] Denali - W. Buttress 6/6/2015

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Trip: Denali - W. Buttress

 

Date: 6/6/2015

 

Trip Report:

Climbed and summitted Denali via W. Buttress. We had a lot of marginal to bad weather to deal with, and barely were able to sneak to the summit in semi-marginal conditions (forecast wind chill low was-56 that day and had several inches of snow fall below us at 17k; made the descent down the autobahn a bit harrowing) after having to abandon our first attempt due to high winds and retreat down to the 14k camp for 3 days due to a storm. We spent a full 20 days on the mountain, with 4 of those being spent waiting at the airstrip for weather to clear so the plane's could come in. It's been kind of an usual year in that before we were there high winds were preventing anybody from summitting until the very end of May (the success rate was less than 1% when we checked in), and since we left the weather has been very mild and lots of teams having success (57% as of today on the season).

 

All in all, the mountain was in really good condition. A few sagging snow bridges on the lower Kahiltna on the way from the airstrip to the base of ski hill, but after testing them they were solid. Quite a few holes in the ground passing around windy corner that seemed a bit sketchy, but otherwise the mountain was in surprisingly good condition considering Alaska had a very mild winter like we did.

 

My team mate wrote up a pretty lengthy trip report

 

http://mightydaughertys.blogspot.com/

 

At some point I might do something similar.

 

Gear Notes:

Do not recommend Whisperlite stove. Compared to the Dragonfly we had, it didn't perform nearly as well.

 

There is no such thing as too many wet wipes or pringles

 

Approach Notes:

K2. TAT has Paul and his cajones of steel, and in hindsight had we gone with TAT we might have been able to get off the mountain a bit earlier since there was one day that TAT was flying and K2 was not.

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Nice job! I really enjoyed reading your trip report and seeing the photos. It brought back many memories from my trip (we summited on May 27 this year). So I am sure we crossed paths with you somewhere on our descent. I am really glad we didn't have to spend 4 days waiting for weather to fly out. That would have been BRUTAL! We summited on Day 17 and flew off on Day 19. Anyway congrats again, it was a rough start to the season up there, and way to hang in there for a 2nd summit attempt.

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Yeah those days at the airstrip were a straight up lesson in brutality. I think your summit day was the day we moved to 14k camp. I'm pretty sure your summit views were a lot better than ours haha. Anyways congrats to you and your team as well.

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