May 27 Team Rest Day at Camp 3

David calls in from Camp 3. The team had a rest day yesterday after putting in a cache the day before on the 16 Ridge. The “16 Ridge” is the ridge above the Headwall (where the fixed lines are anchored) named such because the ridge is at 16,200′ (4937m). To get to the ridge, the team first ascends 1,200′ (365m) to the base of the Headwall or Fixed Lines. This typically takes a couple of hours. Here the team arrives at the bergschrund. A bergschrund is an especially large crevasse that resides where the glacier meets steep snow and ice, and it sloughs away from this steep terrain creating a wide opening. It is also especially long, spanning the whole mountainside. At the bergschrund the team will hop on the Fixed Lines. Each climber has an ascender that is tied off to their harness, the ascender is then attached to the Fixed Lines. An ascender is considered a “progress capture device”. This means that the ascender will glide upwards as the climber ascends, but if it is pulled downward the teeth will engage into the rope and not allow descent. The Headwall is roughly 50* in steepness and climbers spend about an hour ascending 800′ (243m) up the Fixed Lines.

Today the team is repeating this process as they move to High Camp and set themselves up for a summit attempt!

climbers on denali headwall

Climbers from a Mountain Trip team in 2021 navigate the bergschrund and start up the fixed lines.

Here’s David:


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