June 15 Ski Team Caches at Windy Corner

Yesterday the team was able to put in their first cache at 13,500′ (4114m). Caching is indicative of an expedition style of climbing. It allows teams to break up their super heavy loads (usually around 110lbs) into smaller, lighter loads. The team will pick through and choose gear and supplies that won’t be needed for a couple days, but will be needed at the next camp. They will carry these lighter loads to their cache site, usually just below their next camp. At the cache site, they dig a one meter deep hole, throw those items in there, and bury it, to be retrieved a couple days later.

The team started out their day by first climbing up Motorcycle Hill, which rises about 1 mile and 800′ above Camp 2 (11,200′ 3413m). After topping out on Motorcycle Hill, the team tackles Squirrel Hill next. Clearing Squirrel Hill they arrive in the Polo Field, a slightly upscoping basin of the glacier that leads them to Windy Corner. Windy Corner wraps around the large granite face of the West Buttress as it rises up on climbers left. The wind will often whip around this geologic feature, thus the name Windy Corner. The team will pass below this monolith as they approach their cache site, and retrace their steps back to Camp 2 after burying their cache.

A 2021 team rounding Windy Corner

Here’s Aaron:


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