Mountain Trip guide Matt Bohne called in from the big basin camp at 14,200′. The weather is improving, but the team took a day to assess conditions above them before making their move up to high camp. This elevation is a very important one for climbers as it helps them build their acclimatization, yet is not so high that the elevation depletes their bodies as much as the 17,200′ High Camp.
The route above climbs 1,400′ of moderately steep snow before reaching the steepest section of the West Buttress route, an icy slope called the Headwall. This is about 600′ high and is affixed with ropes that are anchored into the surface of the ice. Climbers clip into these “fixed lines” with mechanical clamps (called ascenders), which are tethered to their harnesses. Their ascenders and the fixed lines give them some security as they climb this steep face.
Here is Matt!