So what happens when climbers with varying skills and ages get together on Denali for 4 weeks? Team work and support will undoubtedly come to the fore, so we’re looking forward to hearing some great stories as we support a team of 7 heading out in May.
Scott Swalling gives us a quick synopsis of the team.
“In late May and June this year myself and 6 others are heading to Mount McKinley (Denali) for an un-guided expedition with a plan to attempt The West Buttress, other members of the team are also going to attempt the Upper West Rib and potentially attempt the Cassin Ridge also. However, this last objective will require a deep analysis of ourselves, conditions of the route and an appropriate weather window as it is considerably harder than the other routes. The team has a considerable amount of time on the mountain, which we hope will benefit us with our goals. Although we know this mountain can be extremely tough and as difficult as some of the bigger mountains in the Himalaya and Karakoram, so we are not taking any part of the expedition lightly.
The team consists of 7 people with varying skills in mountaineering, winter and ice climbing, ski mountaineering, navigation, rescue and we also have a fully trained altitude medic, with an age range from 20 to 50, we are Scott Swalling - Australian, Franca Serafini - Italian, Daniel Bergo - Norwegian and Will Hardy, Tommy Harris, Alex Erskine and Nick Mortley - all Brits and we all have different assets beyond the outdoor/mountain experience and medical skills we each bring to the team. For all but our medic Franca and Nick it will be the first trip to a big mountain outside of the European Alps, where we have all learnt and improved our trade as mountain climbers.
The team has been working well together organising logistics, route planning, equipment and each person has been adopting roles as we move closer to our departure date. We have been managing to get into the hills, on rock and even had most of the team attend the Peglers Ice fest this year to get some ice climbing done together. We have a few more training and kit testing weekends coming up that will let us get to grips with gear, each other’s idiosyncrasies and naturally form roles in the group so we can function naturally as a team.
At this point in time with under 2 months to go everyone is quite excited and very pleased that Alpkit has chosen to support us, a big thanks to the team.”
Nick Mortley and Will Hardy
Daniel Bergo and Tommy Harris