July 13, 2012
Greg and his team have been very busy on Denali. First, they were busy climbing and making carries. At 14,000’, the kept busy for several days fighting a series of storms, with lots of wind and lots of snow. With supplies running low and no major weather changes in sight, they then got busy wrestling with the tough questions that expedition climbers sometimes face – like when is it time to say enough is enough and make that most difficult of calls. They pushed long and hard through pretty much zero visibility and got down to the landing strip today at 7,000’. As soon as weather permits, the plane will come in and get them back to Talkeetna. Bummer. It is a strong crew but everyone does have time constraints and sometimes the mountain just says no. It’s tough to turn around after so much time and effort. My guess is that there will be a rematch before long.
Update: July 13 (7:30am): I spoke with Greg Vernovage late last night. The flight service, Talkeetna Air Taxi, flew in late last night and picked the crew up. The flight was tentatively scheduled for early this morning but TAT saw a break in the weather, launched the bird and got everyone back to Talkeetna.
A special thanks to our friends at Alaska Mountaineering School who help makes these trips possible. See you next season.