Weather report for 14,200 feet on Denali yesterday and last night: Snow, on and off, heavy at times. Well, we got to experience one of those little Alaskan snow events everyone talks about. Yeah, this was only a hair over two feet (Andrew can brag on much more extreme shovel events), but enough to nearly bury our tents in the space of 8 hours, snowing at a rate of about 4 inches an hour. The snow came down so hard it sounded like rain on our tent. All our Hilleberg Tents held up well, though for some reason they wouldn’t take care of the shoveling, which took upwards of an hour with all of us working. The snow quit around 7:00 this morning, but not before at least six huge avalanches came within several hundred feet of camp. Weird to hear the slides roar at night, then get up in the morning and see how close you are to the runout toes of all the avalanches. It’s said that camp hardly ever gets hit with anything more than a wind blast from the slides. Okay, I’ll keep that in mind!
Yesterday was a rest day due to climb to 17,200 the day before. Looks like today will be one as well, as we’d planned on climbing high again but the route to headwall appears to still have some avy danger.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.