May 29 Team Caches at 16,200′

Yesterday the May 29 team was able to put in their last cache at 16,200′ (4937m). They began their day by climbing up the snow slope rising behind Camp 3 for 1,200′ (365m) which usually takes a couple of hours. Here they arrived at the bergschrund below the fixed lines where the Headwall begins. A bergschrund is a wide crevasse that forms where a glacier meets steep ice and snow, they are usually especially large, overhanging at the upper lip, and span across the whole mountainside. They are visible from quite a distance. At the bergschrund, teams affix themselves to the ropes with their ascenders. Each climber has an ascender tied to their harness, and attached to the fixed lines. An ascender is a progress capture device, that allows climbers to move up the rope but when pulled down the rope, its teeth engage and don’t allow descent, which prevents a fall. The fixed lines are 600′ ropes, one for going up and one for going down, that span the length of the Headwall at about 50* in steepness. The fixed lines are anchored into the snow and ice every several meters. Once the team reaches the ridge they were able to chip in a cache for their supplies and ready themselves to move to High Camp.

They plan to take a rest day today.

climbers on denali headwall

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


Here’s Carlos:


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