Fritz Bachmair called in on behalf of the climbers on our May 11 West Buttress expedition. The team is camped at High Camp, watching the weather in the hopes that they get a break from the gusty winds that have been buffeting the upper mountain. It has been extremely cold in recent days, so the team is being conservative in their decision making, due to the very low windchill temperatures. They have plenty of time, so they opted not to push high today.
High Camp is located at 17,200′ (5243m), on a flat bit of the mountain immediately above their previous camp. Climbers can walk to the edge of camp and look 1000′ (300m) down to the bustling Camp 3 at 14,200′ and beyond. It is a stunning place, but it is also a difficult place, as the rarefied air makes everything more challenging than at lower elevations.
They have plenty of food and are watching the upper mountain carefully for telltale signs that the winds above might begin to slacken. In the meantime, they have a great rapport built among their teammates and spirits are high!