May 18 Denali West Buttress team at 11,200′, caching

Mountain Trip guide Nicole Lawton called in an update on the May 18 Denali West Buttress team at Camp Two at 11,200′, who spent the day yesterday retrieving their cache near Kahiltna Pass at around 10,500′. Today, depending on the weather, they will attempt to place another, high cache to set them up for their move to 14,200′ Camp Three. Once there, they will spend at least one night acclimating for the thinner air of the upper mountain and practice with their ice axes, crampons and ascending the fixed lines.

The team awoke to almost a foot of “champagne powder” — light, fluffy perfect, skiable snow (with which skiers and snowboarders listening will be quite familiar), which made their day of retrieving their cache significantly more strenuous.

Despite the persistent low pressure and their weather delay that initially prevented them from flying in to the range to begin their expedition, they are essentially on-track.

Here’s Nicole!

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