1:45 am. 7,800 ft, Ski Hill, Denali
Our movement towards the lower Kahiltna Glacier after leaving camp at 14,000 ft., resulted in an eerily calm, inevitably tiring, and somewhat blissful state that ran deep into the misty, foggy midnight hours...
We passed Windy Corner (13,200ft) with a sore reminder of the effects of gravitational force upon sleds, but grateful for wands marking off recent dips through narrow, hidden crevasses from other teams passing through. Our descent began right as the blue sky, impending sunset and moisture systems collided in one last dance, embodying a dim, mysteriously curious persona. —
I vividly remember walking through the “Polo Fields”, desperately trying to search for the next wand, attempting to make our movement as efficient as possible...yet still straying off from time to time as colors played with my squinting eyes
It was intriguing, to follow so many paths ...each with their own personality...yet to trust just one felt as if I was betraying another. —
Moving down Motorcycle Hill at 11,800 ft., we were presented with our last steep section on the glacier. ...The jerking nature of an upside-down sled tugging at you and whipping your partner forward,(Sorry Grace) will consume your thoughts...presenting a physical aura with everything you’ve carried up, worn, and packed out. We treasured a mutual silence for some time, as we dig up our cache at 11,000 ft, resurfacing our snowshoes and forward intentions.
Layers were put on. Food was sorted. Nothing left to do but walk...and whistle...and point...and let the minds wander.
Though still basking in a pounding memory that felt so surreal, so pure, yet foreign...our minds were heavy
with the constant movement downslope, towards heavier air and a chance to fly out the next morning.
📸: Denali casting her shadow 13,000 vert. ft. above us as @mountainclimbgrace spreads her arms as wide as the Massif itself... just moments after we semi-hastily found our cache at Ski Hill (7,800 ft.) ———————————————————————-
@alaskamountaineeringschool #climbalaska #denali @denalinps #kahiltna #ithinkourcacheisrightthere