May 15 Team Caches at 16,400′

Marlies Neefjes (I think!?) called in from our May 15th team.  Her message is entirely in Dutch, so if anyone out there can help translate, “Help alstublieft!!”

The team took advantage of an absolutely perfect day to carry loads of supplies up the steepest part of the West Buttress route, caching their loads above what is often called, “The Headwall,” at an elevation of about 16,400′ (5000 m).  Finally, the weather has become a bit more cooperative, so they shouldered their backpacks and hiked about an hour up above camp to reach The Headwall.  The Headwall is a steep section of snow and ice that leads from 15,600′ to 16,200′ (4755 m to 4938 m).  It has a steep start, as there is a sort of crevasse known as a bergschrund at it’s base.

The Headwall is affixed with ropes that are attached at semi-regular intervals with anchors buried deep in the ice.  The climbers clip themselves into those fixed lines with an ascender, a fancy sort of clamp that will slide up the rope, but locks off when weighted.  This provides an additional level of security when climbing the steep fixed lines.

Depositing their cache, they then dropped back to Camp 3 in the huge Genet Basin to spend another night at 14,200′ (4328 m).

Here is Marlies!

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  1. Congratulations on making it to 16,400! Does Marlies know the story of the “little engine that could?” You guys are steaming ahead! May you have another perfect climb day tomorrow!

  2. Hi Shaun!
    So excited for you all! Sounds like a most glorious day you have been given–your hearts must be thrilled to climb yet another stretch of the journey! We are praying for all of you–for your heart’s desire to summit! Be careful on the ‘steep section of snow and ice’…eek! Praying for safety for all.

    Steve and Susan

  3. Marlies from Holland tells that she and the other members of May 15 had a beautiful, but also heavy climb up to 5000 m.
    Great views, nice weather. She calls it heaven on earth.
    She thanks the guides for helping her over some crevasses.

  4. Praying for you, that The Lord would grant your heart’s desire & keep you safe. Praising God with you for the good weather! God bless you!

  5. Hi Shaun, Eric and team,
    We’re glad to hear of the “perfect day” to carry your supplies above the Headwall. Wow- the description is surely intense to read about- never mind having to endure it! That must have been a relief to have some decent weather. You are a tough group! We pray your training has paid off and you are all strong can persevere onward! We are praying for God’s protection over you and that you are enjoying the journey. See you soon!
    Love Julie and James

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