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Time taken to get to Camp One: 3 hours and 10 minutes; time taken to return to Base Camp: 2 hours and 35 minutes. Monday, 23 June day 3 on the mountain : We struck camp, and carried and hauled all our gear and supplies from Base Camp to Camp One. Time taken to get to Camp One: 3 hours and 35 minutes. Time taken to get to our Kahiltna Pass cache-site: 4 hours; time taken to get back to Camp One: slightly less than 2 hours. Wednesday, 25 June day 5 on the mountain : We struck camp and hauled and carried all our gear from Camp One up Ski Hill.

Time taken to get to Camp Two: 6 hours and 20 minutes. The total time spent on this back carry was only 2 hours and 10 minutes. We then retraced our steps and returned to Camp Two. Time taken to reach our cache-site: 4 hours and 20 minutes; time taken to return to Camp 2: 1 hour and 30 minutes. Skis and snow-shoes are usually left behind at Camp Two and crampons donned for ascending Motorcycle Hill and, of course, for the rest of the climb.

Time taken to get from Camp Two to Camp Three: 7 hours.

A photo taken on Saturday, 28 June , of two members of our party weaving their way through some of the massive crevasses between Windy Corner and Camp Three. Descending the headwall and returning to Camp Three took 2 hours and 25 minutes. Aidan Brennan clipped into fixed ropes and nearing the top of the headwall on Monday, 30 June A loo with a view!

Wednesday, 2 July day 12 on the mountain : This was one of the toughest — if not the toughest — day on the mountain. Summiting Denali Thursday, 3 July day 13 on the mountain : This was a rest day, during which we all went for a series of small walks to aid acclimatization. Friday, 4 July day 14 on the mountain : Plans for an Independence Day summit attempt were thwarted by lenticular clouds — which indicated that there were very strong winds — across the top of the mountain.

One cannot conceive grander burial than that which lofty mountains bend and crack and shatter to make, or a nobler tomb than the great upper basin of Denali; but life is sweet and all men are loath to leave it, and certainly never men who cling to life had more cause to be thankful. The difficulty of our task was very greatly increased; that was plain at a glance.

It was the realization of the earthquake and of what it had done that convinced us that this Muldrow Glacier has a very slow rate of movement. The great blocks of ice hurled down from above lay apparently just where they had fallen almost a year before. At the points of sharp descent, at the turns in its course, at the points where tributary glaciers were received, the movement is somewhat more rapid.

We saw some crevasses upon our descent that were not in existence when we went up. But for the whole stretch of it we were satisfied that a very few feet a year would cover its movement. No doubt all the glaciers on this side of the range are much more sluggish than on the other side, where the great precipitation of snow takes place. We told Johnny to look for us in two weeks.

It was thirty-one days ere we rejoined him. For now began the period of suspense, of hope blasted anew nearly every morning, the period of weary waiting for decent weather. With the whole mountain and glacier enveloped in thick mist it was not possible to do anything up above, and day after day this was the condition, varied by high wind and heavy snow. There seemed sometimes to us no reason why the process should not go on forever. The situation was not without its ludicrous side, when one had the grace to see it. An hour or two spent in writing from dictation, another hour or two in reading aloud, a little geography and a little history and a little physics made the day pass busily.

A pupil is a great resource. The equipment and the supplies for the higher region were gone over again and again, to see that all was properly packed and in due proportion. As one handled the packages and read and reread the labels, one was struck by the meagre English of merchandisers and the poor verbal resources of commerce generally. The coffee in the can calls itself a product. This zwieback was the whole stock of a Yukon grocer purchased when the supply we ordered did not arrive.

More by Alex from Becoming Bob

The writer was reminded of the time when he bought several two-pound packages of rolled oats at a little Yukon store and discovered to his disgust that every package contained a china cup and saucer that must have weighed at least a pound. It will take all the time and fuel we have to spare to melt snow for cooking, when one little primus stove serves for all purposes. When we leave this camp there will be no more water for the toilet; we shall have to cleanse our hands with snow and let our faces go.

The rice will enter the pot unwashed and will transfer its talcum and glucose to our intestines. Nor is this the case merely on exceptional mountain-climbing expeditions; it is the general rule during the winter throughout Alaska. All the rice that comes to Alaska is so labelled.

Denali - Wikipedia

It was during this period of hope deferred that we began to be entirely without sugar. Perhaps by the ordinary man anywhere, certainly by the ordinary man in Alaska, where it is the rule to include as much sugar as flour in an outfit, deprivation of sugar is felt more keenly than deprivation of any other article of food. We watched the gradual dwindling of our little sack, replenished from the base camp with the few pounds we had reserved for our return journey, with sinking hearts.

It was kept solely for tea and coffee. We put no more in the sour dough for hot cakes; we ceased its use on our rice for breakfast; we gave up all sweet messes. Tatum attempted a pudding without sugar, putting vanilla and cinnamon and one knows not what other flavorings in it, in the hope of disguising the absence of sweetness, but no one could eat it and there was much jeering at the cook.

Still it dwindled and dwindled. Our cocoa became useless—we could not drink it without sugar; our consumption of tea and coffee diminished—there was little demand for the second cup. And we all began to long for sweet things. We speculated how our ancestors got on without sugar when it was a high-priced luxury brought painfully in small quantities from the Orient, and assured one another that it was not a necessary article of diet.

When we got on the ridge the chocolate satisfied to some extent the craving for sweetness, but we all missed the sugar sorely and continued to miss it to the end, Karstens as much as anybody else.

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Our long detention here made us thankful for the large tent and the plentiful wood supply. The wood no more than served our need; indeed, we had begun to economize closely before we left this camp. We were greatly interested and surprised at the intrusion of animal life into these regions totally devoid of any vegetation. A rabbit followed us up the glacier to an elevation of ten thousand feet, gnawing the bark from the willow shoots with which the trail was staked, creeping round the crevasses, and, in one place at least, leaping such a gap.

At ten thousand feet he turned back and descended, leaving his tracks plain in the snow.

Ascent of Denali by Hudson Stuck

We speculated as to what possible object he could have had, and decided that he was migrating from the valley below, overstocked with rabbits as it was, and had taken a wrong direction for his purpose. At this camp at the head of the glacier we saw ptarmigan on several occasions, and heard their unmistakable cry on several more, and once we felt sure that a covey passed over the ridge above us and descended to the other glacier.

But even this was not the greatest height at which bird life was encountered. In the Grand Basin, at sixteen thousand five hundred feet, Walter was certain that he heard the twittering of small birds familiar throughout the winter in Alaska, and this also was in the mist.

I have never known the boy make a mistake in such matters, and it is not essentially improbable. Doctor Workman saw a pair of choughs at twenty-one thousand feet, on Nun Kun in the Himalayas. Our situation on the glacier floor, much of the time enveloped in dense mist, was damp and cold and gloomy.

The cliffs around from time to time discharged their unstable snows in avalanches that threw clouds of snow almost across the wide glacier.


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Often we could see nothing, and the noise of the avalanches without the sight of them was at times a little alarming. But the most notable discharges were those from the great ice-fall, and the more important of them were startling and really very grand sights. A slight movement would begin along the side of the ice, in one of the gullies of the rock, a little trickling and rattling.

Denali Climb 2017

Dense volumes of snow and ice dust rose in clouds thousands of feet high and slowly drifted down the glacier. We never saw any large masses detached, and by the time the ice reached the glacier floor it was all reduced to dust and small fragments.