The team on our June 23 West Buttress expedition made quick time descending from the 17,200′ high camp and they arrived at the 7,200′ base camp this morning. It was cold at all elevations last night, making for very solid conditions for traveling. They collected supplies that had been cached at 14,200′, 11,200′ and 7,800′ while they made their way down the mountain.
Half of the team has already flown out and are back in Talkeetna, and we expect the remaining climbers to fly out within the next hour or two. The weather for flying is a bit unsettled, so there is a chance that some climbers might get to spend an extra night on the glacier, but we are optimistic and are hoping that they all sleep on a soft bed tonight.
Great job everyone. It’s unfortunate that their arrival at high camp coincided with a spike in avalanche hazard, but they did well to push so high in the face of challenging conditions.
Here is a mostly unintelligible call from Eric West: