Lead Guide Brian Muller called in on behalf of the June 12, Pancoe Team. They moved up to establish a new camp at 14,200′ (4328m) in very good weather. They were a bit delayed getting out of their previous camp due to wet snow that turned their tents in popsicles. Packing frozen tents is a chore and just adds time to a climber’s morning.
They headed out of their 11,200′ (3414m) camp via a moderately steep hill known as Motorcycle Hill. Denali climbers love to name features, and so the team then transitioned onto Squirrel Hill to climb up to the base of the West Buttress. No… there have never been motorcycles or squirrels anywhere close to those slopes!
Turning the infamous Windy Corner in windless conditions, they made the final push up to a broad basin where they established their current camp. They cannot see the summit from here, but they have good views of the path above, which climbs some of the steepest terrain of the West Buttress route.