Denali - Trip Report - Part 17

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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 teammates.

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 17,150' tomorrow.

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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