The Three Amigos’ Latest Dispatch from Denali: “We’re Awestruck and Star Struck”

Find out what – and who – Simon Wallis, Jason Harvey and Mark Thomson saw during their first three days at the base of Denali.

Mark Thomson, Simon Wallis and Jason Harvey - the Three Amigos from Zebra - standing in front of a shop in Alaska before heading to Denali
by Your Edge Blog Team
June 06, 2022

Now three days into their Denali climb, Simon Wallis, Jason Harvey and Mark Thomson are rethinking how they define “comfort” and gaining a new appreciation of the finer things in life – like carbs and celebrities!

Find out what life has been like in beautiful Alaska thus far and what exciting, and perhaps frightening, encounters they have ahead of them this week:

“It’s the third day on the mountain for the Three Amigos, and we are writing this blog from our cosey tent using our Garmin inReach Satellite device. We can only text, so you’ll have to wait until our return for pictures.

As mentioned in our last update, day one saw us flying into the glacier. Due to recent hot weather, though, we had to fly into a higher and slightly further away runway in the Kahiltna Glacier. There were fantastic views on the way in, but they were very daunting as they showed us the true picture of what lies ahead. The landing on the snow was perfect, and we unloaded our bags and set up camp. We spent day one recapping on basic rope techniques, tying in and more crevasse rescue. Then we had to hike down a hill a few kilometers to recover cached equipment, which gave us time to get used to dragging a sled, wearing snow shoes and belaying each other in. We went to bed early as days start at 2 a.m. and the next day we would be moving everything to Camp 1.

It was an early call day two, as expected. After a hot drink and breakfast, we packed our tents and kits into our bags and sleds. We’re talking around 110lb / 50k of kit each. It was a long, six-hour walk to Camp 1, which was hard work with heavy packs. We finally arrived at camp around 10 a.m. then set up camp.

We had to dig a kitchen and toilet, flatten our pitches then build the tents – which is hard work anytime, but especially after a long walk at altitude. It’s worth it, though, because it’s beautiful up here. Before building camp, the guides had to probe the ice to find a safe zone to camp on. We don’t want to be camping on a crevasse. We then had to mark out the area before camp building could begin. After we were done, we were ready for a nap before dinner at 5 p.m. So far, the food has been great…lots of pasta, pulled pork, bagels, Danish pastries – carbs, carbs and more carbs!

Day three was another 2 a.m. start. It was a carry day which means we hiked uphill to just below Camp 2, dug a big hole and buried food and equipment that we will need for later in the climb. It was a very hard five-hour steep walk in the early morning. We’re talking around 70lbs /33k each today. It was grueling. The view when the sun started peaking over the mountaintop was stunning, though. It took us a lot less time to march down and back into camp for lunch and a nap. When we woke up, we find out the legend that is Nims from the famous 14 Peaks film arrived in Camp 1. He’s set up only about 100m away, so we are feeling all a bit star struck. He waved to us, so hopefully we will get to meet him at some point, although most likely that will be when he’s coming down. 

That’s it for now. More to come in a few days. Wishing you all well, The Three Amigos!”

Want to show your support to the Three Amigos? Help them help others by making a donation to the Red Cross in their name here. Zebra will match all donations up to $10,000.

See how far the Three Amigos have come thus far. Check out past posts now: 

And, if you’re hooked on their story, you can read all about their Aconcagua adventure in 2019 here: 

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Your Edge Blog Team
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