Gustav Deuss called in from the team’s home for the last week or so at 14,200′. They carried supplies up onto the beautiful ridge above camp, which gave them a chance to experience the steepest section of the West Buttress route.
They used “ascenders,” a climbing term for a clamp that will allow one direction movement along a rope (up!), but clamp down when weighted. Clipping their ascenders to a rope affixed to the icy surface of the steep slope, they were able to have additional security while climbing up to the ridge. They climbed up over 600′ of fixed ropes as they made their way up to the ridge.
The climbers are very eager to move higher, as they have been sitting at the 14,200′ camp watching high winds above them. The winds seem to have abated somewhat, although scattered snow showers have limited their ability to see the upper mountain. Fingers crossed that they can head up to High Camp tomorrow.