Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 13

This morning was the first morning that we didn't wake up in an ice coffin. Through the night the moisture in our breath freezes to everything in the tent including the walls, hanging sun glasses, and sleeping bags. To prevent this we left the front door of our tent completely open. To cope with the colder temperatures I turned into a mummy, completely sealing myself into my sleeping bag. As any rest day we sit around, go for walks, play cards, and eat, trying to give our bodies time to adapt to the altitude. Today was blue skies and sunshine. Our fingers are crossed for the same day tomorrow so we will have a clear shot at summating the mountain. My body and mind feels strong and I'm ready to climb. During supper I was informed that the other team that summated Denali with the AMS team ahead of us ran into some serious trouble climbing down. The summit day is 12 hours of the hardest exercise in half the oxygen. When you’re descending the mountain you are at the highest risk of injury because you’re climbing down hill, you made your goal and you want to get home back to friends and loved ones. When the team was descending the largest hills back to 17,000 camp one of the members slipped, pulling the whole team down with him. This happened when the winds were 60 miles an hour and there could be no help sent until the next day. All team members experienced frostbite. Other injuries included broken rib; leg and sadly one person didn't survive the fall. The team is all off the mountain and our prayers are with them and the family. 

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