Despite a very strange Alaska season (The weather was too good!! with unseasonable high temperatures turning the lower mountains such as Hunter and Foraker to slush) Kenton Cool and Ian Parnell managed to make the coveted second ascent of „The Denali Diamond“ on Denali. The first ascent in 1983 seemed to have intimidated all thoughts of a repeat following tales of a 25ft A3 roof and 17 days of epic climbing during which one member of the first ascent party almost died. Cool and Parnell opted for a superlight approach opting to sleep in the afternoon sun and climb at night carrying only 1 season bags and a 1 person tent into which they could both just fit.Unfortunately as soon as the pair left base camp the forecast changed unbeknown to them.Snow started soon after they started and continued throughout the 5 days of their ascent. Bivis proved particularly difficult with their tent poles breaking on the second night and their bags quickly becoming uselessly wet. Nevertheless the pair were able to free the route except for 1 rest point and 1 tension point on the crux pitch, rated as Scottish 8 by Parnell. Parnell comments „This was a really satisfying route and we really had to work hard mentally together, we each had times when we were in tears unable to go on but were able to support each other through to the summit. Heading back into the high camp on Denali´s original route we didn´t know that the rescue authorities had been on alert and so were surprised when the whole camp stayed up till 11.30pm to watch us stagger in.All pretty emotional! „On a personal level it was also very satisfying because when i left the UK there was alot of critism about my committment in the mountains published in a certain magazine. So it was good to be able to answer that clearly with this climb. In alpinism action speaks much louder than words“
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