In 2004, Samantha, Dave, Douglas and me decided to climb Denali. We registered ourselves for an expedition with the Alaska mountaineering school. The expedition was lead by Jim Williams.
In the beginning of June, we all met in Talkeetna. From there, a small airplane brought us to Denali. The landing strip is on a glacier. After an additional day of preparation on the glacier, we took off with our backpack and sled.
In the beginning, the weather wasn’t the best because after one day, we were stuck in a snowstorm that lasted for 48 hours. Every 12 hours, we needed to dig out our tent.
But our patience was rewarded, because after the storm the weather became excellent for a long time. So we managed to continue in a couple of days to Advanced basecamp at 4200 m. From there on, we moved up to the high camp at 5400 m a couple of days later.
After a day of rest and acclimatization, we were ready for summit day. We reached the summit of Denali on 28th June. Unfortunately, the views at the top were somewhat limited due to a huge forest fire that produced a cloud of smoke the size of France and Germany combined.
The descent went very smooth as well until we arrived back at the landing strip. It turned out that it was too cloudy so there were no flights between Denali and Talkeetna. There was no other option but to wait 4 days until the clouds disappeared. Fortunately, we made it back in time to Talkeetna to celebrate Independence Day.