Lead Guide Brian Kramp called in an update from High Camp on the West Buttress route. The team took a planned rest and acclimatization day after making the grueling push up the ridge from Camp 3 yesterday. They were treated to relatively warm temperatures and an all-around beautiful day as they allowed their bodies to further adjust to the thin air of 17,200′ (5242m).
On Denali, at such a high latitude, each lungful of air holds roughly one half of the oxygen that the same lungful would have at sea level. The human body has a variety of compensation mechanisms when it realizes that fact, and one of our best defenses is to give your body time to adjust. The team will awaken early tomorrow and be prepared to take advantage of any good weather window that presents itself.
As seen in the route map below, the team will first climb a long, rising traverse known as The Autobahn, before winding their way up to a flat expanse of glacier at 19,500′ (5943m), called The Football Field. Here they will get themselves sorted for the push up to the dramatic and knife-edged summit ridge and with any luck, they’ll have some great views from a spectacular vantage point!
Here’s Brian –