Lead Guide Caitlin Hague called in on behalf of the June 17th team this evening. She, Wayne, Jacqueline, Margaret and Dan had a fairly mellow day today, dropping down 700′ to retrieve their cache of supplies. Under clear skies, they hiked down towards Windy Corner and dug up the cache they had left a couple days ago, loaded their packs and climbed back up to Camp 3. The whole day’s work took less than three hours, so it was essentially an active rest day.
In the afternoon, they practiced some of the skills they will call upon in the coming days. The guides set out climbing ropes fixed at regular intervals to anchors in the snow. Each climber practiced moving along those fixed ropes using a mechanical ascender (a sort of one way rope clamp). They worked on passing the anchors efficiently, using standardized terms to communicate their actions to their rope mates.
Tomorrow, they will get to put these skills into action, when they climb up the steepest section of the route, a slope above camp called The Headwall. This has 600′ of fixed ropes to help secure climbers in the event of a slip on its 40-50 degree snow.