Sitting it Out
Wednesday, June 28, 2000
Hello Mountain Zone, this is Willi Prittie on Denali. We're at 17.2, at High Camp. Our group put in a long, hard day two days ago to get fully established up here, as it turns out, during the last of the high pressure. And yesterday, we woke up to warm sun and blue skies, but with an enormous lenticular cap over the summit of Denali. By the afternoon, it was kind of a mild storm I would describe it. It was pretty close to zero visibility and blowing snow, some snow coming down that was our scheduled rest day anyway.
Pretty much last night continued in the same vein, as well as this morning, so today is our first weather-delay day. About 12:30 or so, it all cleared off. However, there is a strong wind blowing over the summit ridge: there is a lot of blowing snow, big snow plumes coming off of it. The air pressure is also still very low here, in elevation terms we're about 600 feet higher than when we first got here two days ago.
There's a lot of fast moving cirrus clouds and low clouds below, so we're just going to see what the weather brings. We have about seven or eight days of supplies up here; we can sit it out as necessary. So we are going to enjoy the vicious hearts games, a few games of chess and cribbage, and see what the next day or two brings before we actually commit ourselves. We'd like a little less wind and a little more stable conditions.
So 17.2 is an interesting little community, about 16-20 people here right now: two Alpine Ascents expeditions as well as several private groups. And we're actually all having a lot of fun just hanging out and hoping for better weather. So that's all for now from 17.2, from Willi and our expedition.
Willi Prittie, Alpine Ascents International, MountainZone.com Correspondent