Expedition Denali Update: Eyeing The Summit

denali map day10

The climbing season on Denali is in full swing with numerous teams already moving up and down the mountain this summer. In fact, there have been a steady stream of summits dating back to late-May, with good weather contributing to early success. The season will continue for a few more weeks before wrapping up in early July, which should allow for quite a few more climbers to top out before the summit is closed for another year.

One of the more high profile teams on the mountain this year is of course the Expedition Denali crew. This is the team that is made up of all African American climbers who are not only looking to reach the summit, but they’re also hoping to use their adventure as a catalyst for inspiring minority youth to engage more fully with the outdoors and spark some adventures of their own. With that in mind, the team is making a documentary of their climb, which should help in that endeavor. 
Right now, the climbers have been on 20,320-foot (6194 meter) mountain for approximately 12 days. According to their most recent dispatch, they seem to be making great progress as well. Two days ago they were in Advanced Base Camp at 14,200 feet (4328 meters) but were planning on heading up to 16,000 feet (4876 meters) yesterday to fix ropes and drop a gear cache. With that out of the way, they feel like their acclimatization should be just about over. They intend to take a day or two of rest, before heading up to High Camp (17,200 ft/5242 meters) tomorrow or Saturday, at which time they’ll be waiting on a weather window to make their summit bids. 
So far, things have been going quite well for the team, who have been receiving lots of media attention for their climb. It seems their efforts to inspire minority youth are already paying off as well, as their “10,000 Steps to Denali” program are already encouraging kids all across the U.S. to be more active outside. 
The weather on Denali has been more cooperative so far this season as compared to last year. Hopefully that trend will continue and the Expedition Denali team can get up and down the mountain safely very soon. 
Kraig Becker