The Denali Expedition in a nutshell — The Fifth Expedition Update
by Rick Rochelle

Date: 06/29/2007


As expected, it has been a quick trip down the hill for the NOLS Denali expedition. The day after they summitted they slept in and still moved from 17,000′ all the way down to 12,000.’ Yesterday they dropped to 8,100′ just above the Hill of Cracks. And just now, they checked in from the cache at 5,700′–nearly three miles vertically below the summit. They are now below snow-line, but still have one mile of bare glacier to walk across to get to McGonagall Pass. They probably don’t have mosquitoes to deal with yet. They’ll have swarms of them tomorrow night!

Tomorrow they plan to re-group and figure out how to split up the weight of the cache to carry it all out. Their next big obstacle is fording the McKinley River. If all goes well, they will cross the river–a mile of braided streams– on July 1st and return to NOLS Alaska here in Palmer on the night of the 2nd. They might have to cross in the middle of the night (early morning hours of the 2nd), though. It isn’t really over until they cross the river!

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