Another step forward in ascending The Seven Summits by Avedis Kalpaklian (@Team Lebanon)

On June 4, 201619:00 we got the good news (avedis, ավետիս in Armenian) about the successful ascend of Avedis Kalpaklian and his fellow mountaineers in Team Lebanon to the Summit of Mt Denali (6190 meters), the highest summit in North America, taking the West Buttres root to the Summit.

The Team started its 21-days expedition on Sunday, May 22 after a four-day delay and stay at Talkeetna due to the bad weather. "During those four days, we have rechecked our gear for several times, trained for skills required to survive a fall into crevasses with a backpack and sled on our back; we have packed our daily food packs and also gave a hand to other teams to do theirs and played some table tennis to kill the extra time" says Avedis. They have even flied in once to the base camp but could not land due to poor visibility.

The first challenge mountaineers face with in Denali is the weather condition slowing down and in some cases completely changing the climb program. Another major challenge is that Denali is far from civilization, making an on time rescue a real challenge for everyone.
"We were very well organized that we managed it to start our journey and save time and energy right after landing in base camp on the fourth day" says Avedis.
No one and nothing to carry your stuff; 35 kg in the backpack and towing another 35kg of food, gear, camp stuff and fuel on a sled per person; digging, hiding some cash - food and stuff, ascending, setting up the camp and getting back to take the cash sometime later".
"Besides all the above, Denali promisses a good acclimatization due to the long trek and diversity of the relief" realizes Avedis.
Day 1- Base camp (2145m), move to Camp 1 (2312m) 11km;
Day 2- Bad weather - rest day - fortify camp walls, build kitchen and latrine; 
Day 3- Cash day, "...where we carry up some of our load to cash it" - Camp 1 to cash bellow Camp 2 at 3045m, 12 km;
Day 4- Single move from Camp 1 to Camp 2 at 3350m 10km;
Day 5- Acclimatization day, active rest day by getting back to lower Cash place and carry it back to Camp 2 at 3350m;
Day 6- Caught in bad weather - rest day!
Day 7- Cash/carry day up to 4100m just after Windy Corner and bellow basin camp;
Day 8- Single/move from camp 2 at 3200m to camp 3 "basin camp" at 4300m, crevasses all around with high risk; on the way coming across Windy Corner with high risk of falling stones. "...ascend early morning and descend late at night in cold hours of the day to avoid the falls" says Avedis - overall 8 km 1200m ascent
Day 9- Blue sky was great for a back carry "active rest day", so we went down to 4100m and got back our cash! We continued our day enforcing the walls of our camp!
Day 10- Acclimatization day up to 5000m and cashing in the same time! Back to camp 4300m;
Day 11- Rest day! Double checking our gear and food ratio - reading - visiting the Rangers tent. Looking forward to move to high camp!
"The most technical part starts at Camp 4, with fixed lines around and the weather factor decides if you will ascend or not. They say climbing Denali starts now! Most teams spend 4-7 days in Camp 4 awaiting a open window and in some cases they are obliged to cancel the climb due to close weather and risk of lack of supply".
Day 12- Single move to high camp the "crow nest" camp at 5200m! It took us 7h30' 8.5km 1000m ascent!
Day 13- Rest day and stand by mode at camp 4 as bad weather caught us again we are so close yet we are too far as the meteo forecast announces 4 bad weather days! We have to live it day by day!! 
Day 14- "...the Summitt Day: blue blue sky beating the odds so we started by ascending to the Denali Pass, then following the ridge south-southeast to the Football Field at 5950 meters; climb Pig Hill to Kahiltue Horn and follow the Summit Ridge to the Summit. 7 km up, 1100m ascent, 8 hours climb up! Summit Summit Summit 6192m arriving at 19:00 sharp on Saturday June 4, 2016" says Avedis.
"I regret not to be able to float the Armenian flag on the Summit due to an emergency situation with a fellow hiker who suddenly started to spit blood! but I had the tripple colors of the flag on my outfit", says Avedis.
"Now only half the job is Done as we have to descend down the mountain! So after summiting we successfully made it back to camp 4 and spent the night! Overall 14 km, 1100m ascent 11hours 45 minutes."
Day 15- In a drastic change of weather we escaped down to camp 3 fleeing from above as its bad to get stuck at 5200m! So we spent the night in Camp 3 at 4300m;
Day 16- "The most interesting thing in Mt Denali is that there are no dark times all day long; so we can walk 24 hours in a row; and thats what we did Last day from camp 3 at 4300m till base camp 2145m where we arrived at 8:00".
Let's note that Avedis and his fellow mountaineers in Team Lebanon are ascending the Seven Summits and have had successfully ascended 4 out of the 7; however, Avedis is planning to push it up again to Mt Aconcagua (6,965m) in South America to finalize his fifth. They will have to get prepared for Mt Everest there after. 



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