FLEMING ISLAND - Twelve year old Mills Weinstein and his dad Scott, plus climbing partner Andrew Bunn have started their attempt at cresting Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska, a climb of 20,000 plus …
FLEMING ISLAND - Twelve year old Mills Weinstein and his dad Scott, plus climbing partner Andrew Bunn have started their attempt at cresting Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska, a climb of 20,000 plus feet.
Weinstein featured in last week’s Clay Today, has been on a journey to become one of the youngest athletes to ascend the highest peaks in each of the 50 United States and has completed 46 in his five year trek with Mt. McKinley (Denali) his 46th.
Weinstein, with dad, Scott, and Bunn left for Alaska on Thurs., June 3, arrived in Anchorage, Alaska and have started their travel to base camp on Denali.
According to Megan Weinstein, who stays in some contact with the group via a locator device, the trio took a bus to Talkeetna for their mandatory rangers meeting then flew to Denali Sunday morning. The plan is a 28 day venture to the top.
“Because Mills is so young, the rangers have to quiz him on his preparedness,” said Megan Weinstein. “He must have did well because he got his permit.”
From there, the trio was to take a day to prepare then start the journey.
“Their gear is very heavy right now so it will probably be a 14 hour day,” said Megan Weinstein, who maintains a Facebook blog of the journey; Klimbing with the Kid. “We got word that they landed safely on the glacier, Denali, at about 6:30 a.m. our time here in Florida on Sunday and are setting up camp. They should reach the summit in 19 or 20 days. Getting to Denali was day two and Scott said the weather has been good and allowing them to progress a little quicker. People following sometimes don’t realize that they are on a glacier; nothing super technical, but very dangerous.”
For Megan Weinstein, the emotional roller coaster of awaiting word of progress is ongoing, but her confidence in the training and preparation of husband Scott, Mills and Bunn, a friend, is confidence.
“As a mom, I miss him already and get very nervous and scared for his safety,” said Megan Weinstein. “On the other hand, he’s trained hard for this and there’s nobody I’d rather have him climb with than his dad.”
Mills Weinstein had been posting Facebook blogs (Klimbing with the Kid) since arrival in Anchorage, but the ascent will limit his access to both time to send a message and internet access in the bitter cold.
On Sunday, the group reached Anchorage via a 16 hour travel intinerary and scheduled a water plane ride to the base camp.
“We signed in at Talkeetna Air Taxi for the flight on Monday,” said Mills Weinstein, who noted daylight despite it being midnight. “There, we do final prep with sled rigging, wand taping and weighing our gear. We are bringing 290 pounds plus our sleds, the gear and clothes we wear on the flight and the famous CMC (poop buckets); four of them. We practice Leave No Trace. Six a.m. wake up call. Love you Mom.”
At 3:19 p.m., Megan Weinstein got word that the arrival to base camp was successful “on a really little plane” and they were to start their climb today.