Summit bid over on MtMcKinley …

On Monday 9th June Jason messaged family ” Update guys sitting in the Genet Basin at 14.386ft moved up from 11.000ft.nailed it in 5hrs with effects from altitude i felt strong. Boiled melted snow i’m making freeze dry potato – hot tea & stick up my tent and after hauling 60/70kilos up. Tired is an understatement. Last night proved to be the coldest night ever put in a tent. It was pretty grim – I woke at 4 pm the interior of the tent was caked in ice. Frozen hair and damp conditions. Sleep was zero as lack of O2 made it too difficult.

Blog update guys- I’m gutted to announce that my summit bid is over , mother nature has struck again with a terrible snow storm with 50/60 mph winds above 14.000ft. with incredible freezing temperatures of -30. My plan was to summit from 14.000ft doing a 6.000ft over night ascent attack 12.000ft. round trip in 24hr i’d projected but yesterday I received the dreaded gut wrenching forecast of a second bad snow storm with winds of 50/60 mph Sunday through Friday and with my flight home booked for Saturday remembering it takes days to get out of the Alaskan Range. Hearing the news sitting in my tent my heart snak – my mind now in overdrive can i breathing difficult but experienced this many times before. Today 7th was planned acclimation rest day so spent refueling the body & enjoying the incredible views into the Alaskan Range far below. Tonight i await but slowly the reality hit home – ‘ it was mission impossible , it wasn’t going to happen’. I’m totally gutted after everything we’ve been through. Obstacle after obstacle on the original West Rib route getting snowed in Death Valley. Record low temps and avalanches etc. – changing our route to keep the summit dream alive. But this blow to the expedition was unbeatable . I couldn’t sleep all night knowing the morning signaled to turn away from the prize and that i could see just up ahead and nearly touch. Damn you mother i kept saying in my head – Damn you! Tossing turning thinking could i have did it any differently. Honestly – no , it was what it was. Gutted is an understatement early this morning i took my last look at this wonderful mountain standing majestic at 20.000ft. and said goodbye vowing to dance once more. Damn you mother nature why why why? 80kilos on my back i descended 7000ft for 16mile – the tough gradient and deep snow. I battled 11hrs making it just in time to base camp as the snow storm blew up. That moment now a bitter pill to swallow knowing physically&mentally i could have nailed it never thinking mother nature in her full extent the deadly assassin. Totally gutted. The weather that i receive at 8pm daily now its snowing and tranquil. Love to all , J x “

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Columba McLaughlin

    A brave effort Jason. Mt McKinley will always be there and she knows that you are a worthy contender. Now it is time to get home safe for some quality family snug time and some well deserved R&R in Letterkenny 🙂

  2. Helen K

    Gutted for you Jason after all your hard work. There is no arguing with mother nature but knowing you, at some point, ‘she’ll be got!!’ Safe home, Helen & Tim x

  3. John Muldowney

    Well done Jason, for the courage to try and the courage to leave it to another time. The mountain isn’t going anywhere..
    Safe journey home big lad,

    John x

  4. Mark Ponsonby

    Tough decision Jason but Im sure the right one. You’ll be back for more I have no doubt. Gutted for you after the enormous effort you put in to get to this point. Head up, you do us all proud. Glad you are safe. See you on home territory.. M

  5. Mary, Mike & boys

    Gutted for you Jason. You’ll be back. Take care. Will await the next blog!!!
    Mike Mary & boys

  6. Yvonne Donnelly

    Sorry to hear u didn’t make it kid !!! But ur alive an fit to tell the tale !!! There’s a reason it wasn’t possible !!!! C u in VooDoo wen u get home !!!!!

  7. Michael O'Hara (USA)

    You made a smart decision and will climb again. We are all immensely proud of you and your accomplishments. Onward and upward.

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