Team Denali: Summit Day!Published Tuesday, 26th June 2018
A determined Team Denali set off from High Camp at 9am (6pm UK time)
Kitted up in all their gear, they were ready to take on the weather and whatever else this brutal mountain decided to throw at them!
They climbed up to Denali Pass (18,000 feet) and followed the route past Arch Deacon’s Tower and the Football Field, then finally on to the slopes leading to the Summit Ridge!
Every single one of them battled against the horrendous conditions, trail-breaking through deep snow for a gruelling 10 hours, each relentless step becoming more arduous as they climbed higher and higher, in ever-thinning air.
Pushed to their absolute limits, they gave it everything they had, individually and as a team, working together to help each other achieve what at times felt like the impossible!
They were rewarded for all their effort when all 5 of them reached the summit of the highest peak in North America, and tallest land-based mountain on Earth, at around 4am UK time!
The skies cleared and the sun came out allowing them to enjoy the spectacular and breathtaking scenery all around them.
They spent about an hour on the summit taking photos and making phone calls on Inmarsat's #IsatPhone2 to inform the support team, and reassure loved-ones back home, that they had made it!
However, the last few days have also been tinged with sadness... but gave Team Denali an even greater desire and determination to reach the summit and carry out the wishes of their brother Jason.
65 Degrees North team member Jason and his partner Becki were in their thoughts all the way, driving them forward ever closer to the stars.
Rich, Brendan, Jonnie, Scott and Joe took a moment to pause then dropped to their knees and observed a minute's silence in memory of Jason and Becki's beautiful baby Oscar who was tragically born sleeping on the 14th June.
The team reluctantly left the top of the highest, and coldest, mountain in North America and arrived back at High Camp sometime after midnight, exhausted but jubilant after the long and emotional day.
They now have the very long journey back down the mountain, carrying ever-increasing heavy loads as they collect all their cached kit and equipment along the way.
The team have been blown away by all the messages of support and donations to the JustGiving Page and would like to say a massive THANK YOU!
If you would like to make a donation please visit our JustGiving Page and leave a message for the team > https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/65dn
Or Text GRIT65 (£amount)* to 70070
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No donation is ever too small and we thank you all for your generosity in supporting the team and our chosen charity!
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