You are falling asleep on top of the K’esugi Ridge with the rain hitting your tent with so much force that you thought rocks were falling from the sky.
While the Denali backpack was the most rainy backpack out of our entire trip, the views were so amazing that trekking on through the storms and fog didn’t even put a damper on our spirits. The two groups,
Crew 427 and Denali Dudes, had traveled more than 27 miles over four days and three nights. The two groups crossed paths in the middle of the hike, leading to a brief but joyful reunion. Crew 427 chose to hike extra miles on their first day and were able to base camp at what was supposed to be their second night campsite. They then chose to go on a day hike, exploring the top of a tall hill with great views of the surrounding beauty of Denali. The Denali Dudes had a late start due to a downed bridge that was brought down due to a rough winter, but the group crossed the slow-moving river and ate lunch after the crossing. We found an open flat area to call home for the night, ate dinner, and went to bed after a long, wet, and cold day. The terrain for both groups changed drastically over the four days, ranging from gravel ridge lines to marshy and muddy trails that were capable of stealing boots right off your feet.
It rained on and off for the first day, we got lucky with a dry second day, and the third day consisted of a soaking rain that lasted most of the day before. On the fourth day, both groups had to be at the trailhead at 9:30 am. This early exit time turned out to be beneficial, as it started to pour soon after we loaded into vans and headed out for showers (which are more for the people we sit next on on the plane, as most of us have given up on trying to smell good after 30 days of a lot of backcountry and mud). Alaska has given us some of the most amazing and memorable sites of our life, and Denali was a great way to end an awesome trip.
Nathaniel Brabender- Crew 427
Ethan Gruber – The Denali Dudes
P.S… Safety check hydration.