Mount McKinley - Trip Report - Part 17Click here to go to the Peak Page for Mount McKinley
Saturday, May 24:
The plan for today had been to move up to the 17,150' camp, but wind and
snow lashing our tents at daybreak was a clear signal that the weather was
going to preclude that. We all slept in and spent a wasted day lounging
around, shoveling out tents, hanging out in the cook tent, and taking naps.
This was probably the worst weather day we had on the mountain, with fog, high
winds, and blowing snow pretty much all day long. Days like this were build
into our schedule, but this was our fifth, after three days in Talkeetna and
one at 11,000'.
I helped Mike shovel out and erect the cook tent in the morning, a huge
task, and I went and used my stash of safety pins to try and close shut the
rip near the top, which was now huge. I was not very successful. Breakfast
in the cook tent was followed by naps or otherwise hanging out. After lunch
all eight of us sat around in the cook tent for a couple hours and played a
game called "Two Truths and a Lie", where each person had to make three
statements about themselves--the more outrageous or sexual the better--and the
others then openly debated which one was a lie. When a consensus was reached,
the person was challenged and had to say if the selected statement was a lie
or not. Needless to day, we all knew each other pretty well at this point,
and now we were getting more even more intimate knowledge about our
After we had all been subjected to this game once or twice we went back to
our individual tents to read or hang out--I traded my great books digest with
Greg W for Whitman's Leaves of Grass, but after looking through it and reading
a bit I decided that my mind just was not into poetry, and I napped instead.
I also went outside to wander over to the edge of the 14,300' camp to talk to
Glenn Morrison and his team for a bit. I think I may have chatted with them
yesterday or the day before, but I don't know when they arrived. They were
pretty bummed about the weather, too, but they were hopeful about going up to
Other than that, it was an uneventful day. Bruno and I were still alone in
our tent with the guides shoehorned in with the others, and I volunteered to
take in Mike or Steve and give others a break, but inertia reigned and again
Bruno and I had a double. We all went to sleep, starting to wonder if we
would ever leave the 14,300' camp at all.
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