Paul Kreiner called in from 7,800′ (2377 m) on the Kahiltna Glacier, the site of the team’s fist camp on their way up the West Buttress route of Denali. The team departed Base Camp in foggy conditions and traveled about five miles (8 km) up the vast glacier. This was a tough hike, as they had the biggest loads of their expedition, making what climbers call a “single carry” up to Camp 1. They actually descended a bit out of Base Camp, as they hiked down the tributary Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier to meet the main body of the Kahiltna.
Above this camp, they will likely carry roughly half their total kit up to a higher elevation, deposit it in a deep pit dug in the snow (a cache), and then drop back to their lower camp for the night. This is called “making a carry” or a “carry day” and it allows the climbers to both move loads in a more manageable fashion and ease their bodies into each new elevation a bit easier than just packing up and moving higher. Climb high and sleep low! It’s a proven technique for climbing to high altitude.