Denali previously called Mount McKinley is with its 6.144 the highest mountain peak in North America. The West Buttress route, considered to be the safest and easiest route, and therefore the most popular currently in use.
The West Buttress route is very demanding, although it is not technical. Indeed, it does not include rock climbing nor vertical ice climbing. But the conditions will be extreme: the expedition is long, there are steep climbing sections, the terrain is glaciated, the altitude is an important factor.
I climbed Denali from the West Buttress route. My trip started by flying to Anchorage Middle of May and than taking a transfer minibus to Talkeetna.
After a gear check and buying some missing items, we packed our personal and our common gear. The weather was not appropriate to fly from Talkeetna to Denali Base Camp. We used the waiting time to refresh our skills in Crevasse rescue. After waiting two days we were able to fly. We spent one night in the Basecamp before starting our journey. We were self sufficient during the whole expedition, this is why we were carrying heavy loads. In general there are 4 camps. Due to a thunderstorm, we setup an additional camp between Camp1 and Camp 2. In average the temperature was around -10 degrees celsius during the day and -20 during the nights. The weather in Camp 4 was particularly cold and windy. Due to exhaustion, sickness and lack of skills, three team members didn’t reach camp 4.
The night of the summit push, we were 4 people in a 4 persons tent. Our mattresses were partially lying on each other. On the 28. May 2018, the weather was appropriate, so we started our climb at 8:30 am.