The May 30 West Buttress team is taking advantage of a beautiful day in the Alaska Range to move up to the basin camp at 11,200′. They put in a cache of equipment yesterday and today are climbing up past that cache to establish a new camp. This system of carrying equipment and supplies to the next camp, or to a point near the next camp is called “double carrying,” and it is a nice way to both aid climbers’ acclimatization and also ferry the mountain of food, fuel and gear up the route.
The route today climbed up a moderately steep hill on the Kahiltna Glacier known as Ski Hill an onto the upper stretch of the Kahiltna. At about 10,200′, the team made a hard right hand turn and is currently climbing up into a stunningly beautiful basin, where they will make camp. The basin is flanked on two sides by snow slopes and a third side by massive ice cliffs. The fourth side opens to the west and provides climbers with a view of the heavily glaciated Kahiltna Dome and glipmses of the tundra beyond the Range, which stretches all the way to the western edge of Alaska.