Eric Larson called in with a report of the team’s move up to high camp at 17,200′ (5244m)! The snow let up and they pushed hard up the fixed lines and along the beautiful ridge that leads another thousand feet up to high camp. It sounds like everyone did really well and they are all nestled in their tents awaiting some food that Sebastian is preparing.
The climb up from camp ascends some moderately steep snow that gets steeper the higher up you get. At about 15,600′ (4750m), the slope is so steep that it doesn’t hold much snow. This is the start of the steepest part of the route, known as the Headwall. Fixed lines of rope enable the climbers to ascend this section with a fairly high degree of security. Above this steep, often icy stretch, is some of the most fun climbing on the route. A slender ridge climbs up 300m and climbers weave in and out of rocks, and along narrow, knife edged portions as the climb its length.
High camp is a rough place, and the team needed to cut snow blocks out of the hard, windswept snow to build chest high walls to protect their tents. It is a hard day, one of the hardest of the entire trip, but it sounds like they all did great.