We have arrived back in Talkeetna and are preparing for the the long journey back home. Since we left the mountain the weather has really packed in so we are extremely lucky to have got out when we did or we would have missed our flights home. We are all so touched by the love and support we received on this journey. We were unable to read the messages from the mountain but we have now caught up on everyone’s comments.
The current summit rate is sitting just over 20% and with our weather window coinciding with the current storm there was no way we could have reached the summit and safely returned whole. The decision was made that the mountain would win this round as a feasible summit window was not presented to us by Mother Nature.
On the bright side, this expedition has been life changing for me as the lessons I have learned will add skills to my tool belt that are essential to the completion of Sea2summit7. I would like to thank my two great friends Mat Trotter and Mike Boston for believing in this cause enough to drop work commitments and make sacrifices to join me on the hill. Mat’s skills, knowledge and guidance proved invaluable up there and I was a sponge observing everything the Mountain Ranger from the Yukon was teaching me. His constant analysis of the conditions and group variables made sure we were safe but had the best possible chance of summiting with the conditions we were dealt.
Mike is the ultimate team player and is loyal to the bitter end. His never say die attitude in infectious and even though he has the hand circulation of a 90 year old he would have completed any role assigned to him with 100% commitment and no complaints.
Even though Alaska completely kicked my ass! and we were unable to complete the sea to summit, I have realised that so many things must marry up in order to be successful in an expedition with so many different stages and variables in it. All we can do is make sure that we have the skills, knowledge, research and fitness to make the most of the conditions presented to make sure that you give yourself the best chance if the mountain decides to give you a shot and standing on top of her.
Finally, this has been a physical, mental and emotional roller coaster and I am happy to be returning home to rest. We are lucky enough to be able to fly away from the shadow Mt Denali casts over us, but unfortunately people suffering from depression are unable to as their shadow follows them everywhere. If you have not done already then please make a contribution to The Mental Health Foundation of NZ here https://give.everydayhero.com/nz/sea2summit7 or text SEA to 2666 for a $3 donation
to help raise awareness for men’s mental health and spread the message that it is ok to ask for help and showing vulnerability is a strength not a weakness. Kia Kaha
Take the path less travelled, epics photos and videos coming your way shortly!!!!
Dave, Mike and Mat