Denali 2012 - Day 535


Arrived in anchorage yesterday after an epic 31-hour journey of connections! Yesterday was like supermarket sweep at the biggest supermarket ever getting some last minute additions for our food tests.

I am climbing Denali for the 3rd time. This time my climbing partner is my friend Nikki Skinner and we are testing some new clothing I’ve developed with Rab. I am also testing new MSR tent systems for my next project and writing a dehydrated food test article for a magazine with Nikki.

This is my first real test of dehydrated food at altitude in real mountain conditions, not just in my garden! My body is still a little disorientated with the time difference. We have just loaded our bags on to the Alaska rail road train which is like something from a 1950’s movie! Awesome!

Heading to Talkeetna today for our briefing with the Denali Park Rangers. Conditions aren’t great this year – cold, windy, and dry, which means icy conditions on the upper mountain. Very similar to when I summited in 2010. Perfect conditions to test new systems for me and a real test. We have had news that base camp is shut due to bad weather. Hopefully we will fly on to the mountain as soon as we can.

DENALI FACT: Only 20% of Alaska is accessible by road or by boat.

Further update from Rich later today: Looks like we have the green light to fly on to the glacier and mountain today! Fingers crossed the weather stats clear! Conditions are cold, lots of frostbite and worse incidents so far. Never the less conditions are better than last year so I’m positive. A few summits in the last few days is also positive.

Speak soon from the mountain! Rich.