Gustavo Ziller gave us a ring from the team’s Camp 1, located on a compact section of the mighty Kahiltna Glacier at an elevation of 7,800 feet (2377 m). The team took just over four hours to descend out of Base Camp and hike up the main body of the Kahiltna to their first camp.
Base Camp is located on a tributary glacier to the 40 mile long Kahiltna. Glaciers are kind of like frozen rivers, so the Southeast Fork tributary drains downhill into the main glacier. That meant the team descended about 600 feet before they turned north and began their 4-mile climb up past a couple of icefalls to their current location.
The team is doing great, and having a good time. Four hours to Camp 1 is a very respectable time, which bodes well for the coming days, which will find the team ascending steeper terrain than they encountered today. Tomorrow they will depart Camp 1 and climb up a series of moderately steep glacial hills that are collectively known as Ski Hill.
While they moved from Base Camp to Camp 1 in a single push, they will start to double carry in the coming days. This is a climber term that means they will carry their surplus food, fuel, and supplies up to (or near) their next camp, but return to Camp 1 for the night. This practice of “carrying high and sleeping low” enables climbers to develop durable acclimatization to higher elevations and also makes it physically possible to move their big loads of supplies up the mountain.