Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Group Divides (Temporarily)

It is not unusual to have difficulty adjusting to the lower oxygen content of high elevations. Climbers often camp several days at successive elevations before a "push". This hopefully allows for the body to acclimate. After close assessment, it was determined that Travis was having difficulties acclimating and should return to a lower elevation. I spoke with Travis today (he is feeling much better; he got a precautionary check-up in Wasilla). He plans to visit his sister in Anchorage and then stay at his home in Kenai until the group has descended Denali. He will then meet them in Talkeetna for the return journey to Juneau.

Monday, while the rest of the team stayed at the 11,300 ft. camp, Forest and Shea accompanied Travis to Base Camp (Forest turning back to rejoin the group just before reaching Base Camp). Travis, responding well to the lower elevation, flew out Tuesday morning. Shea is returning to the 11,300 ft. camp.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Kevin and the rest of the team hauled gear and food up to a cache at 13,500 ft.; a feat that began at 9 this morning and concluded at 7 this evening with their return to the 11,300 ft. camp. Everyone should be reunited by Wednesday morning.

When I spoke with Forest, he outlined a general plan: Wednesday is a rest day, followed by a move to 14,000 ft. on Thursday. There the group will rest and acclimate for the next four days or so. The next goal is to move to a "high camp" and then to summit, weather permitting.

Speaking of weather, the team has been enjoying perfect weather so far; even hot at times. This, of course, is a relative "hot". Forest reported some weather starting to move in now.

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