Backpacking in Denali National Park, Alaska
September 8, 2007
Last night was really rough. We heard later someone talking how we caught what was left of a typhoon in China. Sounded right to me. Matt and I spent the whole night waiting for our tent to get blown away as we got hit by at least 50 mph gusts. Twice I needed to get up to restake the tent, even though I worked hard to prep it before I went to bed. Man, it's gonna be a long day.

Today we take another shot at crossing the glacier. It's been calling to us for the past few days and it's time to see what it's really like. The first path we try ends in steep ice cliffs. Climbing on tons of broken shale rock is quite the challenge both physically and on our equipment.
We spot another promising path and head down into some kind of depression at the foot of the ice sheet. It turns out to be an open area filled with streams and giant ice blocks. They look like grounded icebergs, but unfortunately it's hard to make out the scale of these things. I called this place the playground. A very cool place, at least until we spot the big, fresh grizzly print. Now which iceberg are you hiding behind?
After hours of effort, it gets too late for us to make it the rest of the way and make it back to camp in time. Goes to show you should never underestimate a glacier, it kicked our butts. Chalk it up as a learning experience. And the other side was only 1-2 hours further.
Two tired backpackers make it back to camp. That wind better not be blowing tonight.