The crew on Saint Elias has checked in twice in the past couple days. As they attempt to move up the mountain, a sketchy snowpack has slowed them down. Here’s the St Elias report for May 12:
Beginning from base camp at 4,500 feet, they spent two days climbing the Shale Ridge with loose, crappy rock to 8000 feet. Then snow came and socked them in for two days, depositing 14 inches new up high. Heading back down for a second load, Taylor and Dave got a 2,000 foot descent on frozen corn—not bad to get their shred back.
By May 12 they were camped out at 10,000 feet and made for high camp 3,000 feet above. However, a snow pit around the 12k mark revealed an extremely unstable layer buried three feet down, forcing them to turn around.
Now, with good weather holding for a few days, the crew is waiting for the snow to settle and they plan to climb Hayden Peak, a 12,000 foot sub-peak of St Elias, which is holding 2 feet of powder at the moment. Needless to say, they are excited to ride. They have set up a kitchen and an igloo is in the works. With 10 days of food, they can only hope conditions will improve and an ascent will be possible. In the meantime, at least they get to ride between the seracs and crevasses of Hayden Peak and explore the middle of the mountain for the next few days.