May 19th West Buttress Denali Expedition – Cached below Camp 2

The May 19th West Buttress Denali Expedition is making their way up the mountain!

The team has been at Camp 1 for a few days but they finally took advantage of good weather to put in a cache below Camp 2 today.

Climber Rawiah called in with a short update: Audio Recording

Climbers heading up into the Camp 2 basin.

The May 19th team made their first “carry and cache” of the trip, hauling sled loads full of food and equipment up towards Kahiltna Pass, about halfway between Camp 1 and Camp 2, in order to “cache” it in the snow. This “carry and cache” method of ascent is very common on Denali because it serves two strategic functions to improve the expedition’s success.

First, it allows the expedition to minimize the amount of weight that they have to carry in their sleds and backpacks as they ascend the mountain (carrying 22 days worth of food and gear all at once is too heavy and exhausting). Second, having the expedition team take multiple trips up and down the mountain between camps can help expedition members better acclimatize by climbing incrementally higher in elevation but sleeping at a lower elevation for multiple nights.

The old mountaineering adage of “climb high and sleep low” perfectly describes this approach to acclimatization, and by getting a little bit of exercise today and then sleeping again at Camp 1, the May 19th West Buttress Denali Expedition is setting itself up for success on the upper mountain.

Nice work, team!

Share Button


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.