May 12th Team- Markus calling from 14,200′ (4328m)

Markus called in after a good, hard day of carrying loads up the steep Headwall and onto the beautiful ridge that leads to the 17,200′ high camp.  This is the steepest part of the entire route, and the team employed the use of ascenders, or mechanical rope clamps, which they affixed to 600′ of rope that is fixed to the steep icy face.  This technique allows the team to move up, roped together, but protected in the case of a slip on the steep, firm terrain.

Markus’s description of what it was like ascending this long, steep slope is a study in understatement!  While most climbers really enjoy this part of the route, it generally feels like a lot of work!  The guides spent a lot of time yesterday going over the skills needed to ascend this section, and it seems like Markus, at least, learned the skills well.

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