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05/28/05 - 06/19/05

Yet another one of the fabled "Seven Summits" topping North America at 20,320ft! This peak was by far the longest, hardest, and most challenging one so far. Bob, Wayne, and I (as Team Burnt Tongues) were planning this climb for well over a year (since Aconcagua in January 2004). Originally we had around 8 folks interested but just the 3 of us remained come May 2005. Within the past year we did tons of climbing, training, gear buying/sorting/ upgrading, and making arrangements to get our asses up on the mtn. Once again, we tried to train and prepare for all scenario's and problems that could come up within our power, leaving only weather to screw us. And we tried to take care of this as well by camping out several times during the winter with heavy packs and hauling sleds. Crevasse Rescue training was actually kinda fun.
Follow along day by day with the links below for stories and tales while hauling 21 days of food and ~125lbs of gear each up, down, and all around "The High One" (AKA. Denali or Mt McKinley), the highest peak in North America and known as one of the coldest mtns in the world.............

Part One: Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Day 1 on the mtn

Part Two: Day 2 through Day 7

Part Three: Day 8 through Day 12

Part Four: Day 13 through Day 16(summit day)

Part Five: Day 17, 18, and playin' around in Anchorage

004-gear.JPG (184014 bytes)Gear List - A Word Document of what I took along and some of the group gear. I can't stress enough how important it is to have quality gear and know it inside out and be able to easily use it in all sorts of crappy weather.001-food.JPG (216807 bytes)

Food List - A Word Document with ~35lbs of what I found to be palatable for 21days worth of food while on the mtn. Christ, I have a hard time deciding what to have for dinner each night, let alone 21days worth of food that won't go bad and still pack in between 3000 and 5000 calories a day! Regardless, any normal person is more the sick of it by the end.

Basic Itinerary
05/28 - Fly Denver to Anchorage
05/29 - Drive Anchorage to Talkeetna; check in with NPS and Talkeetna Air Taxi; fly partway to Base Camp before turned around by weather
05/30 - Day 1 on mtn; early flight to basecamp (7,200ft); single carry past Camp 1 (7,800ft), to Camp 2 9,400ft
05/31 - Day 2; single carry to Camp 3 (11,000ft)
06/01 - Day 3; carry and cache to 13,500ft
06/02 - Day 4; move to Camp 4 (14,200ft)
06/03 - Day 5; retrieve cache from 13,500ft; back 14,200ft
06/04 - Day 6; carry and cache up headwall and fixed lines to 17,200ft camp; back to 14,200ft
06/05 - Day 7; rest day at 14,200ft
06/06 - Day 8; Move to Camp 5 (17,200ft)
06/07 - Day 9; Crap weather, leave cache at 17,200ft and move back down to 14,200ft
06/08 - Day 10; Weather day at 14,200ft
06/09 - Day 11; Weather day at 14,200ft
06/10 - Day 12; Move back up to 17,200ft camp
06/11 - Day 13; Weather day at 17,200ft
06/12 - Day 14; Weather day at 17,200ft
06/13 - Day 15; Weather day at 17,200ft
06/14 - Day 16; SUMMIT DAY!
06/15 - Day 17; Move from 17,200ft back to Base Camp (7,200ft)
06/16 - Day 18; Morning flight from Base Camp to Talkeetka; tons of food and beer
06/17 - Tons of sleeping, beer, and food; sea kayaking around Prince William Sound
06/18 - Tons of sleeping, beer, and food; pack and hang around Anchorage; midnight flight Anchorage to Denver
06/19 - Land in Denver ~7am sleep deprived and with tons of stinky gear