Lead guide Brian Kramp called in an update for the May 6 Denali West Buttress team, who sounds like they had a great rest day at 14,200′, complete with pancakes, quesadillas, pizza and ice cream! They took an additional rest day after retrieving their cache at around 13,500′ to practice skills specific to the upper mountain, like ascending fixed lines and ice axe and crampon technique.
From here, they will trade in their snowshoes for crampons, and the route becomes much steeper, more exposed and more committing. Directly out of camp, the fixed lines ascend a steep headwall and the route has continued exposure essentially all the way to High Camp.
From High Camp at 17,200′, the team will be higher than the majority of the mountains all around them.