May 11, 2011 – Mt. McKinley Update

We received a satellite phone call from Kurt updating us on the team’s progress on Mt. McKinley.  Here’s the “quick and dirty” from Kurt at 11,000 feet!

The team flew onto the Southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier on May 4th, arriving at 7200’ (2195m).  On May 5th, they moved up to camp at 7800’ (2375m), on May 7th they made it up to 9900’ (3018m), and on May 10th they reached 11,000’ (3353m).  The team continued to make progress despite high winds holding them up.

The team’s plan as of the 11th was to make a cache at 13,500’ (4115m) on May 12th, with hopes of reaching 14,200’ (4328m) via the West Buttress today, May 14th!

Kurt noted that the weather has been unusually cold, with a high of -35 degrees at 17,000’ the other day!  Despite the cold weather and high winds, the team is in good spirits.  Everyone on the team is doing very well and enjoying the experience.

A recovery and rescue were made on Mt. McKinley earlier this week, and while none of our team members were part of this effort, our thoughts go out to all those involved.

Kurt says that everyone at home is missed and thanks all of you for the support you send toward SMI.  We look forward to hearing from Kurt again in a few days!

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