Lead Guide Peter Inglis and Rick Piette called in tonight’s update from their camp at about 9,700′ on the upper Kahiltna Glacier. The weather has been perfect and everyone is doing great. They made what we call a single carry up to this elevation, meaning that they packed up all their kit at their previous camp (7,800′) and moved up to this site in one push. They will use different strategies on different points of the mountain, and will begin “double carrying” as they get higher.
To make a “double carry” means that they will take roughly half of their total food, fuel and supplies and carry it up to (or near to) the site of their next camp. They’ll dig a deep hole in the snow and bury their supplies, making a cache for later. After burying the kit, they will then descend back to their previous camp and spend the night. The following day, they will pack up and move up to (or past) their cache and make camp at a higher elevation. This results in effectively making two trips, hence the term double carry. It allows them to move their mountain of supplies up, and also ease into the new altitude, by climbing high the day before, but sleeping low, which is easier on their bodies, when the elevation difference is more than a couple thousand feet.
Here’s Pi and Rick: