It’s safe to say that the full sufferfest is on right now. Just a week ago I was standing on the summit of Everest and now I’m here in a serious snow and windstorm on Denali, the tallest mountain in North America.
My body is so thrown around right now I have no idea what time zone I’m on. The last two nights, despite the snowstorms that have almost buried my tent, I slept 14 hours oblivious to what was going on outside. I’d say that is only possible given the level of fatigue I’m feeling.
That said, emotionally I still have my head in the game. We are at 14,200ft (known as 14 Camp), and I am ready to give a big push for the summit when the weather allows. Usually people summit from 17,000ft (17 Camp), but we are going to try and save our energy in this bad weather and instead try and push to the summit from here. This might seem counterintuitive, but if we were to camp at 17 Camp, we would have to lug our sleds/packs up there. Although our summit day will be longer from 14 Camp, we will have lighter packs and have to exert less energy up the mountain. Ideally.
It is so much fun to be out here with one of my oldest friends Tucker Cunningham. We swam thousands of hours together throughout our childhood, so we are used to suffering side by side. Hopefully the weather will break in the next few days and we’ll have our shot at the summit.
Other than hunkering down in our tents while this storm beats down outside, we hang in our kitchen tent a lot. Tucker and Drew dug a deep pit in the snow and sheltered it with a pop up tent/tarp. So we sit and tell stores in our little snow pit and pass the time. It’s been fun to share the stories of my expeditions this spring. Being able to relive Everest in my mind is so fun and makes me incredibly grateful at my success on the highest peak in the world. I can’t believe I summited just eight days ago!
I always try my best to stay in the present, but I can’t help but dream of a warm bed, being reunited with Jenna and my family and a long long sleep. But first…one more big mountain to climb!!