Eli Potter called in to update us on the team’s progress, and they are doing great! They carried a cache of food and supplies up and around the infamous Windy Corner to a spot at about 13,500′, where they buried it in a deep hole in the snow. Ravens have learned that climbers bring a lot of tasty food on Denali and they have also learned to dig deeply into the snow to get at that food, so we bury our supplies at least a meter down.
The plan is to move up to 14,200′ and acclimatize for a few days. They will keep an eye on the weather forecast and when a good looking window presents itself, they will drop back down to the entrance to the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier and push up to the base of the West Rib. They will then climb the route alpine style, meaning they will carry all their supplies with them as they move upwards, as opposed to making multiple trips up and down, as they have been doing thus far. This style allows them to climb with somewhat lighter packs and also minimizes the amount of time they need to spend on the exposed route, because they have already acclimatized to a large extent.
Klara is from the Czech Republic and Eli has been having a tough time pronouncing her last name, so “tímto se omlouváme rodině Klářina!”