Bill just called again to say that he, Ben and Elsie are all safely back in base camp.
They awoke last night to a starry sky and headed to the summit in cold, but clear weather. There was some snow en route, but it quickly melted at the sun at 4 degrees below the equator rose higher in the clear blue sky.
The clouds they encountered on the summit were intermittent enough to provide them opportunity to shoot some nice summit photos. As they descended, the clouds kept rising and thickening and when they were about three rappels from the base of the route, the rain began to fall. Meteorologists call the typical weather patterns we experience on Carstensz "orthographic" weather. The mornings are generally clear, and clouds begin to rise as the day warms up, and you can generally count on rainfall in the afternoons. They hiked back to BC in a solid rain storm and are eating some dinner before heading to their tents for a well-deserved rest.
The helicopter is planning to take advantage of this more normalized weather pattern (the first week or so of their time in the mountains sounded like very atypical weather with almost continuous rain) to fly in in the morning to get the crew. They should be back in Bali in a couple of days and headed home shortly thereafter.
Northwest Buttress of Denali
6 years ago