May 19 Team – At 11,200′

Pieter Van Den Broeke called in a nice greeting to his family, but was cut off before he could update us on the team’s progress.  Today, they carried a load of supplies up to about 13,500′, but are still at the 11,200′ camp for the night.  They plan to move up to the big camp at 14,200′ tomorrow.

Today’s work involved a couple of long, challenging hills, the first of which is known as Motorcycle Hill.  This rises close to 300m (1000′) right out of camp.  Above this point, the snow tends to be quite compact and windblown, so the crampons that they use to gain purchase in the snow are really helpful.  The hill above Motorcycle Hill is known as Squirrel Hill and climbs about 600′ in a series of rises.  This is crampon and ice axe terrain, and it feels a lot more like climbing, than did the previous days, which feel a bit more like glacier hiking.

The team passed around the prominent feature known as Windy Corner, which did not live up to its name today, as it was more like Calm Corner.  The sun was out, and the skies were clear and everyone did well.

Here is Pieter:


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