May 15 - May 28, 2010
Official MIT Outing Club Trip Report (by Matthew)
The first question: how to transport 100lb+ of gear? Matthew devises a solution.
First mission in Anchorage: obtain $800 worth of groceries,
and repackage into $800 worth of ziplock bags
We weigh our bags for flight. We are limited to 125 lb / person
Load it all in an airplane...
We aren't sure if VFR includes snowstorms, but our pilot is unfazed.
Soon mountains appear, along with blue skies.
Day 1: We arrive at Kahiltna International Airport
While setting up camp in basecamp, we are greeted by our first Avalanche
We're too far north for the sun to set at a reasonable hour. This is 9pm.
Day 2: We follow the well-packed trail across the crevasse-dotted Kahiltna toward 7800' camp.
It's t-shirt weather on the Kahiltna. Denali in the background.
We forgot the freeweights at home, but we improvise for some bicep curls.
Walking around 7800' camp
A dead bird is discovered under Darren's pack. We're not sure how it got there - pack dropped on it? Froze while looking for warmth? Foul play?
Day 3: Up ski hill and on to 11k'. We are followed by an army.
Digging in at 11000 foot camp
Melting snow for drinking water.
Eric provides some shade for the campsite
Day 4: rest day. 11k' camp is becoming a city.
Everyone weighs in on the relative merits of ramen vs. cous cous
The team at 11k'
We wake up to a dusting of snow
Day 5: Cache at 13,500' and return to 11k'. This is the top of motorcycle hill.
Top of squirrel hill
Cache site at 13,500 - just above windy corner.
Looking back down toward the Kahiltna
Descending squirrel hill
Skiing back down and enjoying the scenery
It's 1000 feet down to 11k' camp from the top of motorcycle hill
We upgrade our kitchen to include a dining room table
Dan tries out the latest in waterproof breathable footwear
Day 6: Move to 14,000' camp. Topping out on motorcycle hill
Squirrel ramp, as we affectionately called it
Electronics to recharge? No problem!
The view from the latrine
Matthew operates the BONE SAW! err ice saw.
Day 7: Retrieve cache from 13,500'. Big crevasses above windy corner.
Checking out the "edge of the world"
Day 8: rest day. The stylish entrance to our luxuirant campsite
The beautiful view from 14,000 foot camp
Picking 5 days of food to bring to high camp
Day 9: Move to 17,000' camp. Climbing above 14k' camp toward the fixed lines.
Huffing and puffing up the fixed lines
Nearing the top of the fixed lines at 16,000'
Climbing the exposed ridge on a beautiful day
Passing the top of Washburn's Thumb
Meeting up on the ridge to exchange pro
Walled in site at 17k' high camp. 10:51 pm.
Day 10: rest day
Watching climbers on the ridge below high camp
Day 11: Summit day! We begin with the steep traverse to Denali pass.
Above Denali pass we are greeted by wind.
After many laborious steps, we reach the summit ridge. The specks are climbers below on the football field.
Psyched for the final summit ridge
Matthew and Eric on Denali's summit!
Moments later, Dan, Woody, and Darren traverse the summit ridge,
up the final steep exposed bit,
To the top of North America!
Summit ridge with a view
Back at camp after a long day
Day 12: Descent. Headed down the ridge, somewhere around 16,500'.
Pickets for running pro along the ridge
Soon 14k' camp appears below us
We give away all our extra food
And dig up the cache we left at 14k'.
Soon we are back on the road, an all-nighter descent back to base camp
Descending windy corner
A long way down, and miles to go before I sleep...
1:24 am on the Kahiltna
Back at base camp, Matthew bags another summit by jumping over Foraker
One happy team
Day 13: Back to Talkeetna for cheeseburgers!