Day 15 and 16: The Descent

After a successful summit, Jason and Brent slept in late on Saturday before packing up, doing necessary camp chores and descending to 14k camp.

One part of the expedition is the “camp chores” which can eat up a lot of time and energy. One of the chores in making water. To make water you have to melt large amounts of snow. At the higher elevations, this can be a lot harder, and it’s a time consuming process. A large amount of their food requires water to make, and at higher elevations staying hydrated is extremely important, so this is a task they can’t skip out on, even when they are exhausted from a 13 hour summit day.

Today they will continue moving downwards, getting as low as they can get. The Denali Rangers are reporting that due to the unseasonably nice and warm weather, the lower mountain is in poor condition and at certain elevations travel by night is being recommended for a safer descent. This is also impacting the air taxis, as the planes cannot land once the snow gets too soft so they are operating on a limited schedule.

Inclement weather is also potentially in the forecast the next few days. This could also impact the air taxis, as they do not fly in bad weather. This may hinder Jason and Brent’s quest for a warm shower and a real bed, leaving them stranded at base camp until the weather clears.

Lets all keep our fingers crossed they they get down safely and are able to get a ride off the mountain and to a real meal!

2018 photo of making water. They will melt all the snow in the sled in that small pot they have.
2018 photo of trading and giving away supplies on the descent. This lets them get some new things to eat on the way down now that they are not as worried about having enough food for the summit.

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