McKinley – Part 1

On McKinley

On McKinley

After we arrived in Talkeetna on 6th of June, we were supposed to fly on the glacier on 9th of June. Meanwhile we had to film at Denali National Park and prepare supplies and equipment (a lot of them this time). Because of the bad weather, we could only fly on the 11th of June. Those three days we spent in Talkeetna, in a hostel with camping and we visited and admired the magnificent surroundings of Denali.

The flight from the city to the base camp, between civilization and wilderness, lasted 45-50 minutes. I saw amazing mountains, high and sharp peaks, I watched as everything green turned into white. Snow was flowing in avalanches while crevasses opened and swallow everything above. The flight was meant to avoid a very long approach march and also to overcome the lower glacier crevasses which are extremely dangerous. It was creepy and awesome at the same time -a different universe than the one you know, different from what you see on television – all different!

After we reached the improvised “airport” on the glacier, we moved quickly to equip the sleigh, to secure supplies and we climbed to the first camp – Ski Hill (2400m). We didn’t know what to expect, we couldn’t see the route to the next camp, but that was the charm!

The next day we slowly climbed to the next camp due to an approaching storm. As we expected, the storm got worst but we didn’t want to stop – so we continue, step by step, with snow rackets. We went half way then we quitted. There was no point fighting against the storm, so we’ve put the tent in the intermediate camp and slept a few hours. When we woke up – guess what! – the weather was great! We arrived in no time at Motorcycle Hill – Camp no. 2. We still had good weather for as long as we raised our tent, then the snow, the wind and the cold started again.

These last stages of the ascent were(as they seemed to me) becoming longer. It’s something you can’t compare to anything you’ve seen before: the next step you could fall into a crevasse, your sled could roll over, you could lose your hat in the wind… but it was beautiful!

The bad weather kept us from advancing the next few days.

The rest is coming soon! ;-)

More pics on my Facebook page

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