June 22 “Big Knots” West Buttress Team – Weather at Camp One

Guide Rob Caldwell called in an update from Camp One on the West Buttress, at 7,800′. The team opted to take a weather day rather than head up Ski Hill towards Kahiltna Pass at 10,500′ to set their cache. During storms, Kahiltna Pass can be an absolute funnel for the wind, accelerating the speed, and making the full momentum of the storm felt for any unfortunate to be in that area. The lower Kahiltna is also a very broad and heavily crevassed valley, making it easy for teams to get off-route with high winds, snow and low visibility. It’s likely the team is seeing the “ping pong ball effect” in action, a disorienting phenomenon where you can’t tell the snowy ground from the snowy sky above.

The team will cache tomorrow, weather permitting.

Here’s Rob!


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  1. I hope the weather clears and y’all get back on your way soon. Better to be safe and take your time, acclimatize, and keep hiking when the visibility is better. Keep sending positive vibes for the Big Knots from here in Seattle. Monte.

  2. Rob, I will be following your progress and wishing you and Jesse the best in your adventure. Outside of getting home safe, having a great adventure, you and Jesse helped get Leif and I summit this year. Thank you and I hope your team and their families know what great hands they are in! Best of Luck!

    Terry R.

  3. Thank you for being safe team Big Knots.

    Alex tripped and fell on his face twice this week. I think he’s trying to self inflict body slams. We miss you. We went to the Science center today and Abby pretended thee little parachute guy was daddy.

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