Mountain Trip guide Mason Stansfield called in for our June 22nd West Buttress expedition. The team had a good day of carrying supplies high above Camp 3 this morning. They will spend tomorrow at the 14,200′ camp as a rest and acclimatization day.
The crew departed camp in the shade of Denali (it never gets dark in the summer!), which made for a cold morning. Hiking loads up moderate snow slopes they transitioned to the steepest section of the West Buttress route at about 15,600′. The Headwall, as it is known, is 600 feet of climbing up slopes that reach 45 degrees in steepness. Ropes affixed to the icy slope provide protection for climbers, as they clip themselves into the ropes with “ascenders” (mechanical rope clamp) attached to their harnesses.
After dropping their loads on a beautiful ridge at 16,400′, the team descended the fixed lines and enjoyed an evening at Camp 3.