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Climbing the “Cassin” on Denali | a solitary journey

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Climbing the “Cassin” on Denali – Photo Galery Here

It’s been snowing for days and I am going bonkers at the Ski Hill (NE Fork) camp (cca 2400 m alt.). Tent bound since the 13th of June I start doubting I’d be able to get on the “Cassin” on this trip and I’m getting sure my acclimatization is wearing out by the hour now… I’ve listened to my music, I’ve read my books, I’ve weighted my options all the while the snow was incessantly falling…

Then it’s 20th morning and the sun is shining and the skies are clear. Mark, back at KIA, mentioned something about a break in the weather for the weekend and I guess this must be it. I am weighting my options: go light – no tent, no sleeping bag just the stove, my Sirius down jacket and compressor pants and some bars and gels. Or plan for a three days ascent and go heavy: tent, sleeping bag, food, haul line in case I need to pull my bag, some cams and screws in case I need an anchor… It’s all about weight and weighting my options.

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Start pt Cassin | Start on the Cassin

“There are always a multitude of reasons on a big mountain for not going on but the most powerful, the one which decides above all others, is the lack of will.” Joe Tasker

RO: Rontai un morcov! Si o bucata de paine. :) Fabulos!

Mic dejun: omleta de 3 oua cu rosii, ardei si multa paine :)

Ieri dupa-masa Marius si Teo  au fost pana la KIA Base Camp si pachetul de la Tom fusese livrat. Nu gasise tot ce era pe lista dar o parte din alimente tot au ajuns: 12 oua, o paine mica, biscuiti, ciocolata, lapte, zahar, alune, un gogosar, un morcov, un castravete, 4 rosii, 2 mere… Baietii s-au ales cu o bucata de sunca, niste lipii si o sticla de whisky.

EN: I’m chewing on a carrot! And on a loaf of bread! :) Fabulous!

Breakfast: scrambled eggs (3), tomatoes, peppers and loats of fresh bread! :)

Yesterday afternoon Marius and Teo went to KIA Base Camp and the parcel from Tom has been delivered. He did not find everything on the list but at least he found some of it: a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, biscuits, chocolate, milk, sugar, peanuts,  couple of peppers, four tomatoes, a cucumber… And the boys got some ham, some pita bread and a bottle of whisky…

RO: Aseara a inceput din nou sa ninga si s-a incalzit foarte mult – adica suficient cat sa transforme ninsoarea in lapovita. Prognoza meteo via KIA/NPS indica imbunatatire in conditiile meteo incepand de azi. Mark Westman si Jesse ? au pornit ieri dupamasa spre E Fork pentru a intra in Traseul Slovac.

EN: Last evening it started snowing again then temperature rose, enough to transform it in sleet. The weather forecast via KIA/NPS suggests an improvement starting with today. Mark Westman and Jesse ? left yesterday to the E Fork for the Slovak Route.

RO: Dupa schimbarea (incalzirea) in vreme de ieri, azi noapte, la 11:12 pm altimetrul arata 2345m alt (GPS 2327m alt), barometrul 764 hPa, temperatura in cort +1.2 grade Celsius, temperatura afara -3 grade Celsius.

EN: After the change (warming) in weather yesterday, last night, at 11:12 pm the altimeter was showing 2345m alt (GPS 2327m alt), the barometer was showing 764 hPa, the temperature in tent was +1.2 centigrades and outside -3 centigrades.

RO: Acum, 1:31pm altimetrul arata 2310m alt (GPS 2327m alt), barometrul arata 766 hPa, temperatura este peste 0 grade Celsius si cerul senin.

Peste 20 de minute pornesc spre Cassin, sper sa intru maine in traseu si sa I’ll termin pana pe 25 iunie si sa pot cobora la NE Fork Camp pana pe 26-27 iunie.

EN: Now, at 1:31pm the altimeter shows 2310m alt (GPS 2327m alt), barometer shows 766hPa, the temperature is above 0 centigrades and the sky is clear.

In 20 minutes i’m leaving for the Cassin. I hope to get oon it tomorrow and finish it before the 25th then descend back to the NE Fork by the 27th or 28th.

Sperante / Hopes

RO: Ieri (18) dupamasa ninsoarea s-a domolit apoi s-a oprit. Azi (19) a nins in reprize insa foarte usor. Sunt ceva sperante… Daca vremea ramane macar asa maine (20) pornesc spre Cassin si sper sa intru in traseu pana pe 21 iunie.

Pentru deplasare prin “Valley of Death” depind de altii care au drum spre “West Rib” sau “Cassin” (in cazul asta Marius si Teo). Daca mai trec inca cateva zile si nu ne pornim, Marius va trebui sa se intoarca si cum planul lor pentru “West Rib” se dizolva, asa si sansele mele de a ajunge la baza traseului… Asta daca nu gasesc alt grup de care sa ma lipesc pentru a naviga printre crevase… Din pacate, dupa saracii belgieni, de 10 zile nimeni nu s-a prezentat a fi doritor pentru traseele astea…

Dupa expeditia incep sa-mi fac planuri pentru un concediu de recuperare, la soare, in….. Patagonia :):):):)

EN: Yesterday (18th) afternoon the snowfall slowed down then stopped. Today (19th) snowed in light showers. There is still some hope… If weather stays at least as it is now, tomorrow (20th) I’m off to the Cassin and hopefully get on the route by the 21st of June.

To go through the “Valley of Death” I depend on hitching a ride with others with the destination “West Rib” or “Cassin” – in this case Marius and Teo. However, if this drags on any longer Marius will have to leave and with their plans for the “Rib” vanishing, so it vanishes my ride. That unless I can find another group I could join to travel through the maze of crevasses.. Unfortunately, after the poor Belgians, for the last 10 days there have been no suitors for either of these routes.

After this expedition I’m planning on a R&R holiday in the sun in….. Patagonia :):):):)


@ Alex: ceva soare de reancarcat bateria este dar nu prea mult :D Ceata e suficient de groasa ca sa am probleme cu receptia satelitului la telefon. :) Multumeesc pentru urari!

@ Dana: Merci! :) Mai mare nevoie de senin decat de caldura darr primim orice cu bucurie ;) o bere URSUS ar fi de mare ajutor acum – mai bine o lada :) )))))))