Monday, May 19, 2008

And we're off!!

Our "press release" written by team member Mats...

Team Dom:
Bob Williams, MA
Garret Oswald, ME
Lloyd Graves, MA
Armand Turcotte, NH
Sue Johnston, CA by way of VT
Jeff Stone, MA
Rob Kettels, Australia
Mats Roing, MA by way of Sweden

The team name is chosen in memory of friend Neil's son Dominic who's life was tragically shortened by an avalanche in Lake Louise, Canada, in January 2008. We will be attempting to carry Dominic's ice axe to the summit. Though Dom can't be with us physically, we will be bringing him along in both spirit and in memory... We are going unguided, which caused us to spend the past 6 months planning out every little detail from what air service to use to how many wands to bring, but we are ready to go.

We were originally ten members but Charles Steele from Michigan had to undergo surgery and cannot participate. And recently Thom Davis (Dr. D) had to withdraw due to a hip injury. The West Buttress Route is our choice of route and it's the "normal route" up the mountain.

Training has been going well through the winter and spring with both technical and physical training. The White Mountains and Baxter State Park in winter make for some excellent Denali training. Several members of the team also spent 3 days training on Mt. Shasta in April. Rob Kettels have been training a lot in the New Zealand Alps in the last year including a summit of Mt. Cook, the tallest peak in NZ. Rob Kettels is the only team member without White Mountain experience. He and Mats summited Aconcagua in 2006. He has also Elbrus and Mont Blanc under his belt among other peaks.

We will have a satellite phone so our loved ones will be periodically updated with our progress. Looking forward to the see you all again when we’ll get back and the goal is to celebrate that everyone gets back alive and well. Summiting is a subordinate goal.

Team Dom

(Note: Chris plans to post updates to my blog periodically in my absence. I am scheduled to return to the land of fruit and nuts on June 11.)

"Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons.......you really climb for the hell of it."
Sir Edmund Hillary

6 comments:

Doug McKeever said...

Sue, I laughed when you said June 11 is when you are scheduled to return to the land of fruit and nuts...most non-climbing folks think the nuts are ON the mountain (but as ultrarunners and climbers, we know better!)
All that's left to say is "good luck" ...may the weather be favorable for y'all! Give me a call from the summit (360)393-8046.
Verizon works up there, from 14,200 on up!

Jamie said...

Best wishes to all of you! Have fun and can't wait to read more about it.

lonerunman said...

yahoooo! :-)
achieve your goal, Sue!!!
i'm really excited for you and hope it all goes well, what an adventure (but that's the theme of your life, eh?)
i'll be thinking of you and look forward to the updates.

enjoy it, and stay warm ;-)

bruce

p.s. hi to your shmoopie too

olga said...

Sue, all the best to you and the Team on this quest, have the greatest time and enjoy the journey!!! Lots os love and positive vibe to you!

Sue said...

Thank you!

Word has it there are already 400+ nuts on the mountain with a 36% summit rate so far.

H'ard said...

Sue, you're living the dream.. Best of luck to you and the rest of the team up there. What an awesome place to test your limits.
Be Well
H'ard