Photo: West Buttress Ridge Denali Climb 2010 Thomas Suprenant, Buck Benson and Lonnie Dupre.
Beautiful, long and hard day on the mountain. Having left 14.2K camp shortly after 8:30am, Lonnie didn’t reach his goal and destination for today until 12 hours later at approximately 8:30pm.
Upon reaching Headwall, Lonnie spent numerous hours breaking the frozen fixed lines out of the ice putting him at the top of the headwall/West Buttress Ridge at 4pm. He traveled the entire West Buttress in the dark, all while reporting -35F temperature with 40mph wind. The support team did not hear from Lonnie until almost 11pm, after the construction of his snow cave had been finished. Lonnie called while beginning to warm the snow cave for a well-deserved good nights rest.
Needless to say a very difficult day, but a very successful one. Tomorrow is a mandatory rest and acclimation day, after that, next stop is the elusive summit. We are carefully monitoring weather for Sunday, but it is too early to tell.