June 26 Team Moved to High Camp!

Lead Guide Adam Smith called in from 17,200′ after the team moved up from their home of the past few days at Camp 3 (14,200′).  The team had a perfect day to move and so they loaded up their packs early in the morning and started uphill.

The route begins with a moderate snow slope that climbed 1400′ above camp to a steep icy section of route known as The Headwall.  This 600′ face is affixed with ropes that are attached at semi regular intervals to anchors buried deep in the snow and ice.  Each climber clips himself or herself into those ropes with a mechanical ascender that will slide up, but lock when weighted.  In conjunction with their climbing ropes, the team gains security by using the fixed lines on this steep stretch of route.


Looking down at the lower half of The Headwall from the ridge line above.

Above the fixed lines, they route climbs another 1000′ of amazing ridge line until it reaches the 17,200′ camp.  This portion of the route is a lot of fun, with huge exposure to either side and engaging climbing, as team members weaved in and out of rock sections and made their way along knife edged snow ridges.

The plan is for the team to awaken early tomorrow and assess numerous factors including team health and overall condition, as well as how the weather is shaping up.  If everything looks good, they might make a summit bid.  Summit day is very, very serious and everything needs to look good in order to make an attempt.  It is tough to go for it on the day after moving to High Camp, but it is an option that the team will consider in the morning.

Here’s Adam!

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