Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hmm... Interesting but with GOOD news!

From: George Dunn
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:24 PM
To: Kurt Hunter; etc.
Subject: RE: IMG Mt. Whitney Climb, 4/2-5, 2011

Dear Whitney team,

Just a quick update on the first two climbs the past weekend. My climb got up to a “low” high camp on our second day with lots of slow going due to new snow on the route and strenuous trail breaking.

Unfortunately we woke up to stormy, snowing conditions on our summit morning which didn’t allow a summit attempt. We descended that same day in stormy conditions which improved as we got lower. On the final day remaining a couple of the team members opted to go rock climbing for the day which was great fun.

The second climb had similar bad results, they had very high winds at their first camp which helped to increase the avalanche danger on the upper mountain. The team made a group decision to turn back on day two in the face of very strong evidence that there would be avalanche hazard higher on the mountain. The second team did a fun rock climbing day yesterday. I joined them and their guide team for a great outing. Most of the team went out today for a class on avalanche hazard evaluation and avalanche transceiver training.

The good news is the weather is back to normal again with clear sunny skies predicted for the next couple days and decent conditions for further down the road. The next few days of weather should consolidate the snowpack and will help to reduce or eliminate avalanche conditions on the mountain. I am pretty sure this is the first time we have ever missed two Whitney summits in a row and I feel confident the conditions will be settled and back in good shape by the next climb.

I head back up the mountain on Thursday and look forward to meeting you on your second day on the mountain as my team descends from high camp. I trust I’ll have better news to report about summiting when we meet.

Don’t forget to meet your guides at 7:00 a.m. at the Mt. Whitney restaurant across the street from the Mt. Whitney Hostel in Lone Pine on April 2.

All best,

George Dunn
International Mountain Guides

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