Frank Fumich called in from 11,200′ to update us all on the May 6th Denali team. Today, they did a “backcarry” downhill to the site of their previous cache. This entailed a 20-30 minute stroll downhill and then they dug up the supplies they buried under the snow a couple days ago. Loading up their packs and sleds, they then hiked about 90 minutes back to their camp.
After sorting through their supplies and kit, they took the opportunity of a short work day to review skills that they will need to employ in the coming days, such as self arresting with ice axes and clipping through running belays.
Self arrest is a climbing term for stopping yourself from careening down a snow slope by using tour ice axe to arrest your fall. Running belays are anchor points through which a team of climbers traveling roped together will clip their climbing rope without stopping. Running belays allow you to keep efficient up or down progress, which having security of anchor points to help in the event some one slips and the team doesn’t sufficiently self arrest.
Here is Frank!