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To the main camp

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Hauling heavy loads on the Kahilna Glacier,  including mostly food and fuel for three weeks and polar-grade gear. Denali, Alaska Taking a break from pulling the sled. Denali, Alaska Snow camping on the Kahilna Glacier. Denali, Alaska Snow camping on the Kahilna Glacier. Denali, Alaska The West Buttress route goes behind the ridge above the Kahilna pass. Totally invisible from the land, it has been discovered in the 50s by Bradford Washburn thanks to his large format aerial photographic surveys. This discovery would revolutionize Mt Mc Kinley climbing. Denali, Alaska The mighty West face of Mc Kinley. The West Buttress is the ridge on the left on the skyline, the Cassin the ridge on the right. Denali, Alaska Probing a circle for crevasses, before unroping. Alaskan glaciers are among the biggest in the world, and have very deep crevasses, which are difficult to spot. Denali, Alaska Camp on close to Kahilna Pass. Denali, Alaska The first important camp, where people gather at a same spot, is found at 11000. Denali, Alaska Above the 11000 camp, the route becomes steeper, making sleding or sking unpractical. Denali, Alaska This evening fog is nothing to worry about, since the 7pm weather forecast is optimistic. Denali, Alaska Like most people, we leave our snowshoes and sleds here, and organize ourselves to do a double carry the next morning. Denali, Alaska Everything which is left is buried under the snow, to prevent the ravens from destroying your cache. They can rip open a backpack if you don't bury it deep enough. Denali, Alaska To find your cache, you leave a wand, and you write your name on a sticker. Denali, Alaska Camp 11000 with a many skis. Denali, Alaska Camp 11000 with a forest of wands. Denali, Alaska Our first carry day, up to the 14300 camp.. Denali, Alaska Our first carry day, back to 11000 camp. Denali, Alaska Up to the 14300 camp again. Denali, Alaska Windy Corner. There is a secondary summit which creates a funnel with the West Buttress, generating incredibly high winds there during storms.. Denali, Alaska Exceptionnally warm conditions at Windy Corner. Denali, Alaska The route so far (outlined in red): the Kahilna glacier in front of Mt Foraker, Windy Corner, and the camp 14300 which is nested in a snow bowl. Denali, Alaska

All text and photos © Q.-T. Luong. See conditions for use of images. All the 22 pictures of To the main camp are on this page