June 5 West Buttress team — Back-carrying and caching

Mountain Trip guide Fischer Hazen called in an update for the June 5 West Buttress team, who are camped at 11,200′ on the route keeping busy during a persistent low pressure system that has brought heavy snow and low visibility to the range.

Yesterday, the team “back carried” from their camp down to Kahiltna Pass at around 10,500′ to retrieve their cache and brought it back up to camp.

Typically, during low pressure systems like this one, teams are often traveling in what guides call a “ping pong ball.” The ping pong ball effect occurs when the sky is so white with snow and fog that it blends into the glacier, creating a strange, disorienting sensation.

Fischer noted, however, that the weather appears to finally be clearing, and that they even caught a glimpse of a few patches of blue sky.

Today, June 11, the team will likely be caching up high around Windy Corner to prepare for their move to 14,200′ and lighten their loads of gear and supplies.

Here’s Fischer with the update (and a congratulations to Connor on graduating!)

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