Double Carry Complete to 11,000 Foot Camp

Post by blogger | June 3, 2010      

Louie and I got our double carry completed at about 4:00 this morning, with a five hour grunt up from Camp 1. Getting that done was just about my limit, but I didn’t pull any muscles and seem to be handling the altitude well so far (11,000′ on Denali is roughly equivalent to 13,000′ in Colorado). I’m constantly humbled by this place, and sometimes feel like I’m in a dream. The surroundings are so majestic and so out of normal reality, it might as well be a dream.


Back in the circus tent, time for a brew. Everyone seems to be doing fine with the altitude but tomorrow morning will tell the tale.

Louie was strong during the carry, and our strategy is to keep him that way — along with the rest of us. The other guys did a single carry up to here with one sleep stop along the way. They got it done, but not without a broken ski pole and a bent ski binding. With as much gear and food as we have, double carries are the way to go.

THANKS PHIL for giving us one of your ski poles on the way out! Remember to email me (use contact link on WildSnow) so we can get you another set of poles.

Weather is cloudy with light snow and breeze. We’ve got our tents set up in a system of snow walls, with our gigantic ‘circus tent’ cook tent providing a great place to cook and hang out (at least until the wind blows hard). Dinner for Louie and I last night was turkey stuffing with lots of butter. Don’t laugh, that’s one of our main meals and it’s good stuff. Breakfast this morning was oatmeal with coconut and other goodies, topped off with 10 slices of pre-cooked bacon.

11,000 foot camp

11,000 foot camp

Taking a rest day today, being super careful with acclimatization. We’ll start another double carry tomorrow, up a steep section called Motorcycle Hill, and start our progression to the 14,000 foot camp.

Lots of people up here, and you see a lot of crazy stuff. One of the most amusing is the stacks of cigarette cartons some of the Euros show up with.


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8 Responses to “Double Carry Complete to 11,000 Foot Camp”

  1. Drew June 3rd, 2010 9:22 am

    Great posts…Lou, does that mean that you and Louie each had 50 lbs on your sleds for 4k vert two days in a row? Impressive. Please confirm. Also, would love to know how the sled mods are working out.

    I am a Dad of young children and I can’t tell you how this stuff activates the mind with visions of my hopeful future family adventures. Got to be special doing this with your son. Good on ya!!! Get back safe.

  2. Aaron Reed June 3rd, 2010 11:51 am

    Nice work guys…very nice…looks like the weather should be holding pretty much the same for you for a bit, hopefully that means an easier push to 14K.

    Lou I hope you can share a picture of the moon over the ice fields…sounds spirtual to say the least…

    Stay safe.

    Papa Reed

  3. Martha June 3rd, 2010 12:08 pm

    Fascinated and so impressed by reports on your progress and your perceptions of that astonishing environment. Best of luck with your push to 14,000′.

  4. Peter June 4th, 2010 7:21 am

    What brew works best at 11,000FT?

  5. Eddie Espinosa June 4th, 2010 9:02 am

    Right on guys – looks like it’s been a good trip so far!

  6. Tom Gos June 5th, 2010 12:05 pm

    Hey, Lou, good work. I’m trying to understand how 11k there = 13k here. Is there some significant difference in air pressure due to weather, is it cumulative fatigue, or is it really psychological?

  7. Ben June 6th, 2010 11:44 pm

    Tom Gos – it’s due to the lower temperature. Pressure at sea level is pretty much the same everywhere, but the low temps closer to the poles change the run of pressure with altitude, so that pressure decreases faster as you go up. Like this:

  8. Jordan June 20th, 2010 8:15 pm

    Back in civilization now. They each probably did 50 lbs or slightly more each day, but it was for 3000 vert each day. Probably the way to go, but in the end neither them nor us regretted our strategies.

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