Lead Guide Jesse Wright called in from Camp 1 at 7,800′ (2377m) on the broad Kahiltna Glacier. Yesterday, they hiked from Base Camp at 7,200′ (2195m) on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, covering a distance of about five miles (8 km) in pretty challenging, whiteout conditions.
The team shouldered their packs and loaded up sleds with 110-120 pounds of food, supplies and equipment yesterday and made the push in what we call a “single carry.” Today, they carried roughly half of their total kit from Camp 1 up glacier to a point at about 10,000′ (3109m), where they buried their loads in the snow, to protect it from ravens that are known to dig down a full meter to get to climbers’ cookies! After making their “cache,” they descended back to Camp 1 for the night. This process of climbing high without moving camp, making a cache, and then sleeping back down at camp is called “double carrying” or simply, “carrying” in climber parlance. It helps ease climbers into the thinner air of higher elevations, while also helping them move the mountain of supplies necessary for a 3-week expedition.
Today’s carry was also in tough conditions, as the team needed to break trail through deep snow to get their cache in place. After returning to camp, the clouds parted and they were treated to a well-deserved sunny evening.
The plan for tomorrow is to move up glacier, past their cache to establish another camp at an elevation of 11,200′ (3414m).