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First attempt

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The main camp at 14300ft. Denali, Alaska The day when we arrived, the weather was great, and there is a large numbers of climbers going for it. Denali, Alaska Waiting out in bad weather. Denali, Alaska Fresh snow on the 14300ft camp. Denali, Alaska Fresh snow and sea of clouds on 14300ft camp. Denali, Alaska The ranger tent. They perform rescues and operate a medical camp, but also give tickets for littering. The two lattrines help keep the snow good for drinking. Denali, Alaska The low-profile tents have to be protected against the wind (which can reach 100mph). Climbers dig a hole and built thick snow-walls by sawing off large chunks of frozen snow. Denali, Alaska The ridge visible on the skyline is the West Rib, which was my planned itinerary. My companions had settled for the West Buttress, so I would do the second part of the climb solo. Denali, Alaska The temperatures during the day were pleasant, but within fifteen minutes after the sun has disappeared, they would drop down to subzero (F). This was a warm year, with minimum temperatures of -20F.. Denali, Alaska Midnight alpenglow on Mt Hunter, seen from the 14300ft on Mc Kinley. Denali, Alaska I leave by myself the camp for a summit attempt, taking a cut-off to the West Rib. The West Buttress route goes to the pass, through the steep wall, and is quite crowded. Denali, Alaska At the 16000 narrow camp on the Rib, there is just another party. Denali, Alaska Storm clouds approaching. Denali, Alaska Storm clouds approaching. Denali, Alaska Storm clouds approaching. Denali, Alaska More fresh snow on the tent down at 14300. Denali, Alaska Party with typical Alaskan backpacks. Denali, Alaska Building an igloo, which offers a very good weather protection.. Denali, Alaska Climbers inside an igloo. Denali, Alaska The 14300 camp has a very social, and international atmosphere. One could argue that it is hardly a wilderness experience since there are in permanence dozens of tents there during the short (May-June) climbing season. Denali, Alaska

All text and photos © Q.-T. Luong. See conditions for use of images. All the 20 pictures of First attempt are on this page