June 2nd West Buttress Denali Expedition – Cached Below Camp 2

Climber Bruce with the June 2nd West Buttress Denali Expedition called in to report that the team has installed their first cache of the trip below Camp 2. 

Here’s Bruce: Audio Recording

The June 2nd Team, before they flew into Basecamp.

What is a cache, you ask??? Well, to put it simply, its a big hole in the snow where you bury your stuff!

Mountain Trip guides digging a cache hole.

The June 2nd team made their first “carry and cache” of the trip, hauling sled loads full of food and equipment up towards Kahiltna Pass, about halfway between Camp 1 and Camp 2, in order to “cache” it in the snow. This “carry and cache” method of ascent is very common on Denali because it serves two strategic functions to improve the expedition’s success.

First, it allows the expedition to minimize the amount of weight that they have to carry in their sleds and backpacks as they ascend the mountain (carrying 22 days worth of food and gear all at once is too heavy and exhausting). Second, having the expedition team take multiple trips up and down the mountain between camps can help expedition members better acclimatize by climbing incrementally higher in elevation but sleeping at a lower elevation for multiple nights.

The old mountaineering adage of “climb high and sleep low” perfectly describes this approach to acclimatization, and by getting a little bit of exercise today and then sleeping again at Camp 1, the June 2nd West Buttress Denali Expedition is setting itself up for success on the upper mountain.

With this cache in place, the team plans to move to Camp 2 tomorrow! 




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