Enchiladas abovy 14,000′? Climber Tony Hogan called in a report for the June 5 team after a hearty dinner prepared at 14,200′ on the West Buttress Route by their guides.
Mountain Trip guides wear a lot of hats; they must not only act as technical skills instructors, motivators, teachers, weather forecasters and first responders, but also as semi-professional chefs, creating camp gourmet to boost morale. While it may seem like a negligible factor, a delicious, hot meal after a hard day of climbing–especially in bad weather–can feel like salvation. And, cooking a great meal (that doesn’t come prepackaged) for nine or ten people, using melted snow and camp stoves, is no easy task.
With heavy packs, the climbers pushed up several steep sections of the route to arrive at their Camp Three at 14,200′. Today, June 13, the team will take a rest day at 14-Camp. After they are well-rested, better acclimatized for the thinner air of the upper mountain and mentally prepared, they will eventually head up the fixed lines for High Camp on the route. Before doing so, they will retrieve their cache down at 13,500′ and lay another cache on the ridge above 15,000′.
Hopefully the clear weather holds for the team to continue to make progress.