Team Denali finally got the weather break they were hoping for on Day 18!
Many of the other groups at Camp 4 cut their losses and descended due to lack of time, but despite food stores starting to run low the team are feeling strong and are determined to battle on and continue with their summit attempt.
They rose early and packed up camp, setting off soon after breakfast.
Under normal circumstance they would have cached a lot of their kit and equipment above Windy Corner, but weather conditions had prevented this, resulting in them having to carry much heavier packs.
It was extremely tough-going climbing up the steep Headwall (a section of route with fixed lines running from 15,500 feet to 16,100 feet) and the air was getting noticeably thinner all the time.
The weather soon began to close in again. The wind and snow battered the team all the way up, to the point that the guides were considering leaving a cache and heading back down to Camp 4…
However, once they reached the top of the Headwall they were rewarded with clear blue skies that made the climb along the ridge to High Camp truly breathtaking.
The team put on their face masks and goggles to protect them from the biting winds and perishing temperatures, reducing the risk of frostbite.
They quickly established themselves at High Camp (17,200 feet) and are now enjoying the most spectacular views of the Denali summit approach behind them, and a beautiful panoramic view looking back down the way they had climbed.
At the moment, the weather forecast for Sunday is looking favourable for the final push to the summit… but this can change at any time and they will need to be ready to take the opportunity whenever it presents itself!
All they can do now is wait and rest … preserving their energy for what will undoubtedly be one of the most gruelling days of their lives!