The May 20 West Buttress trip called in an update on their progress up the route. As they are climbing in expedition-style, they are carrying enough gear and supplies for 22-days on the mountain–far too much gear to haul with them all the way to the summit and back down. So, at each lower camp, they separate out a cache of gear and food that they wont need for the next few days, bury it deep enough to where ravens that make their way into the range can’t get to it (essentially the only other animal life on the glacier, aside from the occasional songbirds that get pushed in by big storm systems) mark it with a wand and on GPS, and descend back to camp. Then, once the team moves up to the next camp, in this case Camp Two at 11,200′, they will back-carry to go back down and retrieve their cache from a few days prior.
This style of climbing, since they will be following the “climb high – sleep low” protocol will also help maximize their acclimatization for the higher altitudes ahead.
This is the team’s first of many cache spots on their way up the route.