I am home

June 3, 2017.  Upon arriving at 14,000' camp, I made the determination that I would not summit.  My boots had rubbed the skin off each of my heels and into gooey painful wounds that would not heel.  No amount of duct tape was going to fix it.  On top of that I did not have the proper gloves or additional clothing layer, or proper sleeping bag I felt I needed to move higher on the mountain.  Temps at 14K' camp were -20F and winds were whipping too.  Lastly, I struggled to keep up physically.  While in great shape for 56 and getting stronger as we acclimated, everyone else was in there 20's and 30's except for one dude at about 42 and he was an ex Australian Navy Seal (equivalent).

So after about one week at 14,000' camp, I had a chance to tag on with some members of another RMI group (Walters) who had been at 14K for about 2 weeks and needed to get down for work commitments. Together with one of their assistant guides, the 4 of us broke camp, roped up and headed down.  We supposedly had a weather window, but as it turned out that was not to be the case and trouble ensued almost from the get go.  I am typing this with my thumbs, as all of my fingers (and thumbs) are frostbitten.  See the Essays "End of Days".

In respect of my team, their families and friends, I did not want to share stories on the Internet until I knew they were down safely.  My team did summit on June 1 and should be at base camp today.  Or they may have already flown off the glacier and are in Talkeetna celebrating their valiant accomplishment.

More exciting adventure details to follow. This Blog is mostly for me to memorialize the experience.  But it should be an easy entertaining read of sorts for others.  And perhaps a tail of caution or encouragement for others yet...

Beard saved my face from more extreme skin damage


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