The June 24th Team climbed up the steepest portion of the West Buttress route yesterday to put in a cache of food and equipment at 16,400 ft. They carried loads of supplies up onto the spectacular ridge that leads from the top of a feature known as the Headwall to High Camp at 17,200′.
The Headwall ranges from 35-45 degrees in steepness and the route through this section is protected by ropes that are attached to the icy surface at semi regular intervals. The climbers have ascenders (rope clamps) attached to their harnesses and they clip these into the fixed lines for additional protection against a slip. This is a challenging and tough stretch of route, but the rewards of gaining the rocky ridge that leads to High Camp are well worth it. The views are breathtaking!
Above the top of the fixed line, they climbed another 200′ in order to reach a less utilized, flat bit of terrain where they buried their cache of supplies, before returning back to 14,200′ Camp. The plan is for the team to take a rest and acclimatization day at 14,200′ Camp today, then continue their progress up the mountain.