Yesterday this rockstar team packed up camp at Camp 1, 7,800′ (2377m), and climbed over 1,000′ up Ski Hill which rises directly behind camp. Once one top of the hill, the team is on another wide, upscoping expanse of the glacier and they continued to ascend through rolling terrain until they took a climbers right turn into Camp 2 at 11,200′ (3413m). Here, it starts to feel like you’re actually on the mountain. The terrain becomes more technical, the glacier more narrow, the slopes above hold more granite faces or giant seracs. At Camp 2, Motorcycle Hill rises a mile above camp, leading to the upper part of the mountain and requiring crampons and ice axe. On one side, incredible seracs (huge frozen columns of ice, peeling off of the glacier as it flows over convex terrain) hang above camp, one the other side a steep slope of snow and granite. Ahead, mountaineers can see the top of Kahiltna Dome and watch as the clouds roll over it like water rolls over a rock in the river.
On their way to camp, the team stopped around 10,200′ (3108m) and dug a one meter deep hole into the snow. Into the hole went chosen supplies the team wouldn’t need for a bit, so that they could lighten their loads as they continued to ascend into camp. Today, they will return to their cache site and retrieve the rest of their supplies, and tomorrow they will take more supplies higher up the mountain before the move camp later.
Here’s Kyle, with a shoutout to Emma and his parents!