Moving into a brand new building this January was quite the event! We captured the three day process through the camera lens… it only took 10,369 photos stitched together to make this video!… READ MORE >
Category Archives: Mystery Ranch on Denali
I am lying in the tent at high camp on Denali and staring at the bright yellow nylon walls and although it looks sunny outside and feels warm in the tent, I know outside the storm is still going strong. I know, because for the past four days I have fallen for the trick countless times, sticking my head out of the tent only to find a grey sky and blowing snow. The barometer too has been holding steady and giving no encouragement of a change in the weather. We have two more days of food after today which means tomorrow is our last chance at a summit.
Our expedition went very smoothly for the first ten days and we rode the good weather into our camp at 14,000 feet to take a well-deserved break. The main challenge for our team was communication. My seven clients were all from Japan and did not speak much if any English. To complicate things, I did not speak any Japanese nor have I ever been to Japan. For the guides this made for some frustrating situations since we could not communicate easily with our clients. We overcame this obstacle using a mixture of … READ MORE >
5/21 Day three 7800 feet
We slept as long as we could. At least until the intense sub-arctic sun drove us out of the Dutch Ovens we refer to as tents. The rest of the day was spent lounging around camp in our underwear eating cheesy meaty grits, drinking too much Dead Man’s Reach and watching the guided groups slog by in the wet snow and severe heat.
While on the lower mountain, nighttime travel is the only way to go – the snow is harder, the air is cooler, and the gumbies are all tucked away in their sleeping bags. It took me a week to get over what a freaking highway the lower mountain is! There is a steady stream of overloaded and overdressed climbers from every corner of the world wandering by our camp all day long. If you are a people-watcher like me, that place is heaven!
It was particularly cool how many Mystery Ranch G-packs we saw. Every person with a Mystery Ranch pack got a big shout out from our camp. You could see them coming a mile away because they were the only ones with smiles on their faces. I surely wouldn’t want … READ MORE >
My sleeping bag looks more like a frozen loaf of bread this morning and less like the slightly lofted down sack I had once considered satisfactory for this adventure…. The word synthetic comes to mind. I definitely didn’t get the best sleep last night, and the spindrift has built up outside to somewhere around 18” and counting. Condensation from last night’s breathing has grown to extraordinary levels on the walls, and to be honest, each time someone bumps the tent, it’s hard to tell which side of the silnylon I’m on.
If we had any food, we wouldn’t be headed higher in weather like this, but we don’t, and it’s not something worth worrying about now.
A tough thousand feet later, the lack of calories and long gone comforts of base camp living have crept up on me. I’m forced to relinquish the post holing to Andrew only minutes after relieving him from the same arduous task. One look tells me he’s not 100% either, but we have little choice, and he’s stronger today. I am relegated to slowly following his tracks in the snow. Where has my power gone? I feel completely drained. Every few minutes I scan the … READ MORE >