Beginning on Monday, May 11th, the Denali Girls will be on route, and climbing Denali!
(If you’ve read this post before, please scroll down to see our most recent status post!)
Here’s how you’ll be able to track us while we move:
We have two kinds of beacons with us – one is a SPOT, and the other a Personal Locator Beacon, or PLB. The only thing you need to know about the PLB is that it’s our emergency beacon, and that it goes straight to the NOAA/the air force, to request assistance, if we or another party near us gets into trouble.
But the SPOT – now that’s the fun part.
Our SPOT (Jenn’s SPOT, really) can send an outgoing signal to a set number of recipients to indicate that we are doing ok, and we’ve set it up so it notifies nine of our loved ones, and this blog, when we check in.
So when we check in you’ll see a “The Denali Girls are Ok!” post (they will appear AFTER/BELOW this one, so that the instructions for understanding what you’re seeing will always show up first).
The check in will tell you where we are in terms of elevation and longitude/latitude, and will link to a Google map you can use to see where we are and how we’re progressing (if you’re really clever you’ll turn on Google Earth and swoop in to check out the landscape).
We’ll do a check in at least every few days, most likely when we get to a new campsite – we just hit a little button on our device, and it sends a notice to this blog to say we’re doing great (and at the same time, that notice posts to Meredith’s, Leigh Ann’s, and Jenn’s Facebook pages!) Ahhhh, technology.
There is one very important thing to know about our SPOT check-ins: DON’T FREAK OUT IF WE DON’T CHECK IN!!! 🙂 Our friends who have already done this climb have had times where their SPOT didn’t send or register, so the message didn’t go out, even though they were doing just fine. Remember: the absence of a check-in “OK” doesn’t signal a problem!
The other thing to know is that we Denali Girls have discussed what we’d do in a scenario where we came across another party in distress, and they didn’t have a SPOT, and we’ve agreed that we’d both provide care, and set off our own distress signal in order to obtain assistance from the Park Service. So even a distress signal doesn’t necessarily indicate that we are in distress – it just means we need assistance!
Finally, to keep things fun and fresh and interesting while we’re gone, we’ve invited a couple of friends and loved ones who advised us as we were preparing for our trip, based on their own experiences, to write and contribute “guest” blog posts while we’re gone, to explain what we’re seeing as we gain each elevation, and tell their own stories and experiences on the mountain. We’re really thrilled to do this, and grateful to our friends for being willing to contribute. So stay tuned for a post early next week from Michelle Wolfe, Leigh Ann’s sister, who got to hang out and watch us work our way through our epic food packing weekend (wooo!) 😉
Much love to you all – have safe and happy months of May, and a Happy Memorial Day. We’ll see you on the flip side, with lots of stories to share.
Meredith, Leigh Ann, Jenn, and Carolyn