June 20 Denali Team – Carried to the Ridge

Lead Guide Yoshiko Miyazaki called in after our June 20 West Buttress team made good time carrying loads up the steep Headwall on their route and cached supplies on the ridge above.

The team packed up their supplies and extra kit that they might need up at High Camp (17,200′) and shouldered their packs for the 1400 feet of moderate snow that led them to the base of the Headwall. This 600′ section of route is the steepest part of the West Buttress route. The NPS and guide services collaborate to affix the Headwall with ropes, secured at semi-regular intervals to anchors buried deep in the ice. As climbers make their way up, they clip themselves into the “fixed lines” with ascenders, which are basically unidirectional clamps tethered to their climbers harnesses, that would fasten onto the rope if weighted, providing security in the event of a slip.

Topping out the Headwall, they then climbed up a beautiful ridge for a couple more hundred feet before caching their supplies. It was pretty windy on the ridge, so they didn’t hang out too long before dropping back down the ridge to descend the Headwall and get back to camp. All in all, they were about six hours making their cache, which is a really respectable time and bodes well for the team on their upcoming summit day!

Here’s Yoshi!


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