Benefiting from beautiful weather, Mountain Trip’s June 10th West Buttress team climbed up the steepest section of the route today, to establish a cache of supplies on a striking ridge at about 16,500′. They had dropped down glacier from their 14,200′ camp yesterday to retrieve supplies that had been previously cached at 13,500′, which they carried back up to camp.
Today, they shouldered packs and left sleds behind to climb up moderately steep snow slopes to the bace of an icy headwall. The next 600′ is the steepest part of the West Buttress route, with ice ramps to 45 degrees or steeper. There are ropes affixed to anchors at semi-regular intervals into which the climbers attach mechanical ascenders (rope clamps that will tighten on a rope when pulled on). Their ascenders affored additional security as they ascend the “fixed lines.”
They are doing great and are excited about moving high in the coming days!