Mountain Trip guide Jason Denley called from 14,200′ (4328 m) on the West Buttress route of Denali. The team took an active rest day today, hiking a short ways to a spectacular overlook called “The Edge of the World.” They climbed up on a granite outcrop and peered down thousands of feet into the foreboding Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna glacier, a narrow tributary glacier riddled with crevasses that provides access to iconic routes like the West Rib and the Cassin Ridge (both of which Mountain Trip is guiding in 2017!).
They reviewed some of the skills that will be needed to climb higher on the West Buttress, specifically how to efficiently climb fixed lines which are roped affixed to steep sections of the route by anchors at semi-regular intervals. They clip ascenders (specialized rope clamps) to the rope, which are tethered to their harnesses. The ascenders provide additional security against slippages on steep terrain.
The team is now ready to move higher on the route, with the plan being to carry loads of supplies up onto the West Buttress, ascending 2000′ of the steepest terrain on the entire climb early tomorrow morning.