Henry called for our daily check-in to report that the team had taken a rest day yesterday to gather their strength, eat big meals and train up on the specific skills needed to travel up the fixed lines and along the granite-studded ridge to high camp. These skills include fixed line travel, which is the art of clipping a directional rope ascender into the established fixed lines. Park service has for years been hanging a rope down a particularly steep section of the route, a 500′ or so icy face that has given expeditions trouble in the past. This rope acts as a safety backup should anyone slip while ascending. It is slow going and the little tricks and techniques taught by the guide team make it as easy as is possible (easy is a relative thing when carrying mountaineering loads and climbing at altitude, of course). Also the team will be learning to simulclimb, an amalgamation of simultaneous and climb, which means clipping into points of snow, ice or rock protection placed to safeguard against a team fall while continuing to move as a rope team. This allows a greater degree of redundancy and prevents one rope team members’ fall from pulling all other team members off the mountain.
So stay tuned and when I know more you will know more.