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A Season on Denali

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Expedition Dispatches

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Just In: photos from Vern Tejas' group.
News: Plane Wreckage Found with No Survivors

Group Six Wrap-up
Monday, July 3, 2000
" kind of reflect on that while standing on the banks of this wilderness in the Arctic twilight, was pretty astounding..."

Goodbye, Big Daddy
Sunday, July 2, 2000
"...we have, up here, a total of eight people on the top of North America. They're going to give a rebel yell..."

Financially Feasible Five
Sunday, July 2, 2000
"...his title for the five summits, the highest summits on five continents that he achieved..."

McCormick Group Summits
Saturday, July 1, 2000
"Everyone's fine, everyone summitted, beautiful day. Actually it was maybe the shortest summit day round-trip..."

The Growling of Fred Peterson
Saturday, July 1, 2000
"...he is now a full member of our expedition and that is Fred Peterson [growling in the background] Woah! Yeah!"

Crime and Punishment on Denali
Friday, June 30, 2000
"...we passed two guys in a tent the other day, camped right next to the trail and positioned right next to the trail on some gear was Dostoevsky's..."

Summitting in Perfect Conditions
Friday, June 30, 2000
"...a perfect summit climb, under as perfect conditions as you could possibly imagine here in Alaska..."

Headed for the Summit
Thursday, June 29, 2000
"Willi's group did head for the summit. The weather has broken, we're looking down on a sea of clouds. We're in the sunshine..."

Patience Camp
Thursday, June 29, 2000
"It probably is just more of a mental game right now and a lot of card playing going on right now. Fortunately, we have a gambler's tent..."

Weather Controlling Summit Bid
Thursday, June 29, 2000
"...we're going to take an acclimation hike as far as Denali Pass today. If it turns out things improve, we may push on from that point and go ahead and do a real summit attempt..."

Sitting it Out
Wednesday, June 28, 2000
"There's a lot of fast moving cirrus clouds and low clouds below...we have about seven or eight days of supplies up here..."

Spectre of the Brocken
Wednesday, June 28, 2000
"...we are in a bit of a fog, but it's not too thick. The sun's showing through in a rare phenomenon called spectre of the Brocken..."

Hoping for Summit Bid
Monday, June 26, 2000
"Everybody in the group is doing great, and we hope for good weather tomorrow and we'll be making our summit attempt tomorrow..."

View from a Precipice
Sunday, June 25, 2000
"I'm calling from High Camp at 17,000 feet...I'm literally on an edge of a precipice looking down 2,000 feet, at 14,000..."

Moderately Bad Conditions
Saturday, June 24, 2000
"We climbed through some moderately bad conditions in the upper Kahiltna Glacier, but had no real weather-delayed days of any sort..."

Moving to 17
Saturday, June 24, 2000
"...we're looking forward to tomorrow to make the move up to 17,000. And then hope for good weather like it's been..."

The Financially Feasible Five
Friday, June 23, 2000
"The sun is just heading toward the West Buttress, at which point when it dives behind, the temperature plummets...."

Seeing for Miles and Miles
Friday, June 23, 2000
"We are going down the West Buttress ridge and it is a beautiful, impeccable day. We can see for miles and miles..."

Challenging Descent
Thursday, June 22, 2000
"We had 30-45mph gusts up at the Football Field, at 19,500ft, obscuring the person in front of us, as we hiked along the trail, trying to get back to our camp. We descended down from Denali Pass in what I could consider very inhospitable conditions..."

Team Summits
Wednesday, June 21, 2000
"...guess what? We just made the summit!"

Clearing Weather May Bring Summits
Wednesday, June 21, 2000
"It's a beautiful, sunny day today — pretty windy up high this morning. The winds have died down a fair bit and it looks like it might be a nice summit evening..."

High on the Flanks of Denali
Tuesday, June 20, 2000
"The weather may clear off just a little bit and the winds may drop just a little bit so that we may shoot for...the summit tomorrow on the solstice..."

Tornadoes of Spindrift Wailing Away
Tuesday, June 20, 2000
"Yesterday, we went down to pick up our cache at 16,200 feet along the ridge, the West Buttress ridge, and that ridge was tornado after tornado of spindrift wailing away...these gusts were actually knocking me around..."

Father's Day Wishes from 17.2
Sunday, June 18, 2000
"It's Father's Day today, so we'd like to do something special. Tomorrow we are going to sleep in, but right now we are going to have a little bit of poetry..."

Team Tejas Ready To Go
Sunday, June 18, 2000
"We have been very fortunate so far, all of our team members are feeling healthy. We have only had a few headaches, so we are hoping to move up tomorrow. That again is weather permitting like so many things here..."

Heading for Kahiltna
Sunday, June 18, 2000
"We are getting down off the mountain here, we just set up a little bivy camp at about 9,300ft on the way out to the air strip..."

Two Have Summit Success
Saturday, June 17, 2000
"I have some good news and some bad news to report. The good news is that some of our team made the summit yesterday, the bad news is that not everyone was able to continue..."

Summit Bid: Coldest Day
Friday, June 16, 2000
"We got to the football field and everyone is still feeling pretty good, but we're all so cold that we kind of decided to hang in the towel...However, Mike and Luis Benitez, they continue on up..."

Pulling Out the Summit Socks
Thursday, June 15, 2000
"...we've got our fingers crossed and we're actually going to try and go for the summit tomorrow morning, weather permitting..."

Avalanche Poodles Launch
Thursday, June 15, 2000
"It's finally cleared up here, but the wind is raging up on the summit and there's kind of an avalanche danger going up the Denali pass. Fortunately, some avalanche poodles have launched...."

Bread Top and Bottom
Thursday, June 15, 2000
"...we're kind of a sandwich right now, I can see for 100 miles through the clear middle of the gully here, but as I said we've got bread top and bottom...."

Digging In
Tuesday, June 13, 2000
"But we're a little better established here today — a little bit more dug in. We spent most of the day building walls..."

Mixed Conditions
Monday, June 12, 2000
"We had to wait awhile on the ridge because of flurry conditions. It was slow going..."

Well Known and Infamous Climbers
Sunday, June 11, 2000
"We had a lot of well known and infamous climbers and personalities up here...people such as Pete Athans, Dr. Peter Hackett, Dr. Howard Donner, Marty Raney, Mark Twight, Scott Backes..."

Rescue at 16.5
Saturday, June 10, 2000
"...a person with some HACE and HAPE symptoms at Washburn Sum at around 16.5. So we left camp around 3 in the morning and hammered all the way back up the Headwall..."

Settling In and Feeling Good
Saturday, June 10, 2000
"We had a great day today: we did a carry up to 16.2 and it actually went really, really well. Everybody seems to be feeling really good and in good spirits...."

Preparing to Carry
Friday, June 9, 2000
"We were just kind of hanging out today — eating and hydrating — getting ready for our carry up to 16.2 tomorrow at the top of the fixed line...."

Edema and 50-knot Winds
Thursday, June 8, 2000
"Roger and I peaked out at the top of Squirrel Hill onto the flats there and it was just blowing us over, knocking us down...."

Trapped at 11.5
Wednesday, June 7, 2000
"We've been experiencing tremendous winds and low temperatures all across the mountain, but especially up high. Scott Darsney and Luis Benitez are trapped along with about 100 other people at 11.5 camp..."

Position of Teams
Monday, June 5, 2000
"Scott Darsney and Luis Benitez will be arriving at Medical Camp, 14.2, tomorrow, with their six clients. They will have a rest day before the headwall carry to 16.2..."

Beautiful Summit Day
Monday, June 5, 2000
"It was a beautiful, summit day and a long...but seven people made it. It was beautiful and they're on their way down...."

Seven Climbers Summit
Sunday, June 4, 2000
"...we did get to the summit yesterday with seven people total. We had one climber voluntarily turn around at the pass..."

Approaching the Summit
Saturday, June 3, 2000
"Looks like about 35 to 40 people are going to summit today — quite a few. We're making good time; we're really happy about that...."

Edge of the World Tour
Friday, June 2, 2000
"...our team is looking pretty strong and we're looking forward to nice weather tomorrow — potentially reaching the top..."

Moving up the Hill
Friday, June 2, 2000
"So the weather forecast looks good for the next few days. We've got high pressure moving in so we should be able to get to 14,000 in the next few days...."

Food and Fuel
Thursday, June 1, 2000
"...we hope to make 11,000 camp in a couple of days. And tomorrow we are going to kind of take it easy, just go down and get the rest of our cache..."

Feeling Long in the Tooth?
Thursday, June 1, 2000
"...all you people out there long in the tooth that think your day has past for doing this kind of stuff that is not necessarily the case...."

Peaks Lighting Up
Thursday, June 1, 2000
"We left camp about 10:30, summitted about eight and then ended up in camp again in the early, wee hours of the morning..."

Four Members Summit
Thursday, June 1, 2000
" number one, summitted yesterday afternoon...four of five made it to the summit...."

Three Hours from Summit Bid
Wednesday, May 31, 2000
"They are at approximately 19,300 feet, just before the football field, and moving comfortably towards the summit. They've got the whole group with them..."

Heading For the Summit
Wednesday, May 31, 2000
"We're looking at about a 12-hour roundtrip if we make the top which would put us back to camp around 10pm. And gosh, things are just looking awesome...."

First Summit Today
Tuesday, May 30, 2000
"John Race called in at 11:15 yesterday. They were at 14,000 feet and planning to move to 17 and hopefully summit Tuesday, which would be today...."

Pulling Together
Wednesday, May 17, 2000
"It's going to take us two to three weeks; we have 21 days worth of food. There's a total of seven of us in the team and this is always a busy time as each person on the team is trying to organize and pull together 110 to 120 pounds of gear..."

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