A journalist observes life in the far north.
The winds began late yesterday, Al said. They have pinned an estimated four teams, including Alpine Ascents Team I, at high camp. The winds are supposed to get worse tomorrow, up to 90 mph between high camp and the summit, according to the weather service report. There is no word about what’s going on up there, according to Al, who descended to 14,000 feet yesterday with his team. The park service pulled the high camp ranger after the storm was predicted. Some of the teams tried to summit yesterday, and it’s unclear if they made it or what happened.
Al said the winds are knocking down snow walls at his camp and climbers have spent much of the day re-building them. Tempers are running high, and Alec got into an argument with Mark, one of the guides, he said.
Shahid is planning to leave the expedition, he said in his latest post. His fingers and toes are frost nipped. Shahid said the other climbers are strong and will probably go on, but Alec thinks that Ramin will also leave the expedition. Ramin’s mountain sickness has subsided, but he is hunkered down in a tent suffering from cold symptoms. No one can leave the camp until the winds die down and the conditions improve.
Al sounded pessimistic again about summiting. I don’t know what to think. Alpine Ascents said they won’t have another cybercast until Tuesday, probably because of the holiday weekend.
Here is the story, published in the Anchorage Daily News, about the woman with the frozen toes.