Members of Wanala at the top of Semeru. (Photo: Private Collection)
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UNAIR NEWS – After 18 days of climb, the athletes of  Airlangga Indonesia Denali Expedition (AIDeX) Wanala Universitas Airlangga Mountaineering Club is almost reaching the highest summit in North America, Denali.

At the moment, Tuesday, June 13 Alaskan time, three athletes of AIDEX, Muhammad Faishal Tamimi ( Fakulty of Vocation/2011), Mochammad Roby Yahya (Faculty of Fisheries and Marine/2011), and Yasak (alumnus of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences) has reached camp 5.

Camp 5 at 17,200 feet is the highest camp before the climbers reach the summit of Denali at 20,073 feet or 6,118 meters above the sea level.

Their climb towards camp 5 was hard. There was a bad weather, strong wind  and snow showers and whiteouts.

“At three in the morning, June 13, the team left Camp 4 (14,000 feet) to Camp 5 (17,200 feet). The team arrived at Camp 5 at three in the afternoon,” said Roby.

There are some factors hampering the climb. First, the physical condition after resting for 7 days. Second, the steep climb with 50-60 angles.

Weather Factor

In the first three hours, the team slowed down because of endurance reason. The bad weather also affects the team. The weather forecast said that the wind velocity reached 30 km / hr with 39 degrees celcius temperature and snow thickness 18 cm.

For consumption, the athletes should be accustomed to dry food. They also built up a tent for two hours.

“We had to dig the snow and made an ice wall thicker than the previous camp because the strong wind scraped the ice wall. And the storm could happen anytime,” Robby said.

Manajer of AIDeX Wahyu Nur Wahdi said that the weather makes it possible for them to reach the summit on June 15 Indonesian time.

“We hoped for the academicians prayers so the weather in Denali can be friendly and the team can get back to Indonesia alive and well,” said Wahyu.

The team has spent 18 days in Denali since May 27 Alaskan time. Their smooth journey through the obstacles in Denali is from their relentless preparation they did before the climb. For 18 months the AIDeX team was greatly supported by PT. PP Properti (Tbk) and PT. Pegadaian Persero.

Mt. Denali is not the first summit that has been climbed by UKM WANALA member. Previously they had climbed Four of seven highest summit, included, Mt. Cartenz  (Indonesia/1994), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania/2009), Mt. Elbrus (Rusia/2011) and Aconcagua (Argentina/2013).

After Denali, other expedition to Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctic and Mt. Everest in Himalaya will complete the expedition seven summit of UKM WANALA.

Author: Wahyu Nur Wahid (manajer atlet AIDeX)

Editor: Defrina Sukma S

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