Climbing Denali Part 2
Starting to move higher up the mountain, which means less air and more fatigue.
06 Jun 12 (Day 2):
Today we moved from Ski Hill (7,800 ft) to Kahiltna pass (10,320 ft), a 750 m elevation gain. The slope up itself is described as a mild incline that would be boring at any ski resort but when you’re pulling 150 lbs of gear up, you start cursing the guy who said that. Disaster struck after we had been charging hard up the slope and made 800 ft of vertical progress. Bob’s sled came undone from his rig and started sliding down the hill. There was nothing that any of us could do but look at each other in complete bewilderment as we watched the sled go all the way back to Ski Hill Camp. What a downer! We were very very lucky, the sled didn’t fall into a crevasse or the expedition would have been completely over as a bunch of our food and gear would have been lost. After we came to grips with the situation, we dropped all our gear and carefully skied down to the now stopped sled. Scott cautiously navigated the crevasse field we found ourselves in as we approached, Bob retrieved the sled then we proceeded back up. We pushed back up the hill at warp speed (especially Bob who now had a sled to drag whereas Scott and I had nothing) and we made it back up to our gear. Lost time, only about 30 min. Thank goodness! We proceeded to Kahiltna pass with a total moving time of about 4 hours 30 min. (Photo right: Bob taking a break while going up ski hill)
07 Jun 12 (Day 3):
Weather was smiling upon us again, as the skies were clear enough to move and the wind was relatively calm. We proceeded from Kahiltna Pass (10,320 ft) to Motorcycle Hill (11,200 ft). This is to be our home for the next three days as we acclimatize to the high altitude. The plan is to rest 1 day, cache food and supplies higher up the next day, then move to Basin Camp (14,000 ft) on the 3rd day. (Photo Left: Motorcycle Hill Camp)