Part 6, Summits

After getting worked on the traverse, we all agreed July 5 was prime for a rest day. It was tough being at 17,000′ with good weather and not going for it, but I had a stiff headache and didn’t feel acclimatized yet so I knew it was well timed. July 6 I woke up feeling better and our team considered going back up Denali pass for the summit but rooster tails of snow peeling off the ridge indicated it would be a rough day to go. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, and was grateful for another rest day.
July 7 was go time. The weather was solid and we all felt strong. Given that Chris, Josh, Drew, and I had already been to the south summit (20,320′), our team split up- Tom and Bob going south for their first true summit, and rest of us going north to summit the rarely accomplished north peak (19,470′). The north peak is slightly more technical and remote, and far less popular. Needless to say while Tom and Bob shared the summit with 35 other guides and climbers, we were alone in a different universe 2.5 miles away on the north summit. Once we reached Denali pass we found ourself in an unceasing ~15 mph wind that made the next 7 hours unfortunately cold and miserable. It was closer to the edge of comfort than we would have preferred, but manageable. We summited around 700pm, took a few quick photos and headed for home. An awesome culmination of awesome experiences with 3 incredible men. It was truly an honor to be a part of. I’m pleased to congratulate Tom and Bob on a successful trip to the south summit as well. Back in camp around 11pm, there was no doubt it had been a solid day. Stellar.

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6 thoughts on “Part 6, Summits

  1. Dan Miller

    Skander,
    Glad to see you made it. I followed your trek up McKinley. Wow! Good job.
    Hope you’re doing well and staying safe.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Blogiversary? | stickthefeeling

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