July 5, 2012
IMG Senior Guide, Greg Vernovage, checked in yesterday from 14,000’ on Denali. On Tuesday, the team made the move up to this camp which is the defector advanced base camp on Denali. It’s a big basin underneath the West Buttress and West Rib. Reasonably sheltered with lots of room to move around. The NPS has a seasonal ranger presence here.
Greg said weather at 11,000’, their previous camp, was a bit pissy. Clouds with some snow. Their move around Windy Corner was a tad windy but, again, this team did well and handled the big move without any real issues. The plan for yesterday was what we call a back carry. They moved down from 14K with empty backs and pick up things which were cached a couple of days ago. Extra food, more fuel and a handful of personal items generally makes up the cache. Usually takes about an hour to get down to the cache. It’ll be buried deep for protection from annoying ravens so they’ll do a bit of digging, distribute the stuff, load up and walk back to 14,000’. The day serves as an ‘active rest’ day. They got a little exercise but didn’t likely burn too much energy.
They’ll have at least 4 nights at 14K so they’ll make sure the camp is secure. Secure means good snow walls.
Greg reports that he’s got a strong crew and a crew who works well together. That’s nice. They wished all of us a Happy Fourth and I know from a fair amount of personal experience that 14,000’ is a pretty cool place to spend our country’s Independence Day.