June 23 Denali Team Carried to 16,500′

We might need to come up with a new, more fitting team name for this crew.  They have been signing off each dispatch with a cacophony of jungle and/or farm animal calls.  If this had only just begun, I might suspect Cerebral Edema of the entire group, but as they have been consistent for days, I’ll wager they are expressing the very good time they are having together.

In any case, today was a big day for Team Animal Farm, as they carried supplies up the steepest part of the West Buttress route.  They climbed 1,400′ of moderate snow up and out of camp, arriving after an hour and a half of work at the base of the Headwall, a 600′ bit of snow and ice that is affixed with ropes, anchored at regular intervals for its length.  Each climber has a mechanical ascender (fancy term for a climbing rope clamp) tethered to his or her harness.  Clipping their ascenders onto a fixed line gave them some additional protection against a slip on this steep terrain.

They are excited to move higher in the coming days.

Here is Garratt!


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