Classic pre-dawn morning start. On the trail by 04:00 to climb the gully. The advantage of doing it this way is you do not have to look up at what you are climbing. By day, it is a miserable little gully, both up and down. But at night, it just feels like a steep ascent on sketchy dirt and rock. Crawling along the solid gully wall was the best way. Another reason for an early start is the weather. In our case, weather would be our friend all day long.
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Saturday 06-20-2015 Base Camp (7,200′) This will likely be my last dispatch from the mountain, as we are done climbing. Now, we wait for the bush plan to pluck us from the glacier. I’ll still be adding to my Facebook page as I make my way home to […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Friday 06-19-2015 Camp 4 (14,200′) Making the descent. Today was always going to be physically painful. Not necessarily as energy sapping, but hard on the body. We had one camp supplied at 17,200′ and then carried over a second camp. So, we had two camps worth of weight […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader 06-19-15 17k Camp We made it.From our exceptionally high and unplanned camp at 19,150′ just below the “Football Field” to the summit (20,320′) and down to the high camp on the Buttress Route, that was our Thursday.First, we’ve been blessed with an extended weather window that allowed our […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Wednesday 06-17-2015Camp “Extra” (19,150′)We just didn’t move fast enough to push all the way to the summit. We ended up using a running belay for almost all of the snow sections, as the runout of a fall would not have been pretty. So, that really slowed us down.However, […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Tuesday 06-16-2015 Camp 5 (16,300′) Seven months ago, to the day, I became a father, twice over. I’ve been thinking of Connor and Kade and my wife, Kristina, a lot today. Tomorrow we head for the summit, and the fact that I’m here at all says everything about […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Monday 06-15-2015 Camp 4 (14,200′) Sorry that I forgot to turn of the GPS tracking device, everyone. But I can inform you all that we had a successful day. We got up early (by Alaska standards, not Colorado) and were the first team on the fixed ropes heading […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Sunday 2015 06-14 Camp 4 Change of plan. Or, should I say, “back to the original plan.” The National Weather Service is saying bad weather is moving in Tuesday. They use macro-forecasts for a wide area and then people interpret them for the mountain. Our weather guy, Chris, […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Saturday 06-13-2015 Camp 4 The big move happened today: getting all the gear and provisions up to 14,200′. We are now in position for a summit bid. However, our weather window is soon to close. Wednesday is looking problematic for a summit, and it will stay bad through […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Friday 06-12-2015 Camp 3 (11,000′) What was going to be an easy day turned into a big day, as we sensed a chance to make up some time. We did the 1,000′ vertical from Camp 2 to Camp 3. Then two of us stayed to set camp and […]
by Jason Kolaczkowski CMC Denali Trip Leader Thursday 06-11-2015 Camp 2 (10,000′) Well, so much for a big storm. Apparently the upper mountain got hit pretty hard, but the lower mountain got a moderately good day for climbing. Pretty much all of Camp 1 set out. The guided teams, who have tents and food waiting […]
Knowing we are about to sit out 48 more hours of a more severe storm We spent the morning reinforcing our camp: making snow walls and a kitchen.