Kevin Jones called in from the broad basin camp at 14,200′. The team is doing great and it sounds like they are having fun as well! Today, they carried loads up the steepest section of the West Buttress route. This section is alternately known as the “Headwall” or the “Fixed Lines.” The latter moniker comes from the 200m of ropes that are affixed to the slope at semi-regular intervals. Climbers use mechanical ascenders (specialized, one-directional rope clamps) to tether themselves to those ropes in a manner that provides an additional level of security in the event of a slip.
Tomorrow is a planned rest and acclimatization day. This altitude is a good one at which to build up a foundation of acclimatization before launching up to the tin air at high camp. The team will take a hike to a stunning overlook, if the weather permits.