Nick called in from high camp to give us an update on a team that spent the day loading up on calories and fortifying the snow walls around their tents. They moved up from the Genet Basin camp at 14,200′ on Saturday, which is a really big day.
They first climbed up 1400′ of moderately steep snow slopes to the base of the Headwall, the steepest part of the West Buttress route. This 600′ section is climbed using fixed lines (ropes that remain in situ for the season) as a self belay. From the top of the Headwall, the team followed a beautiful and fun ridge for another thousand feet, weaving in and out of rocks, passing along the crest of knife edged stretches and ascending a few more steep bits along the way.
Most climbers benefit from a rest and acclimatization day following the big effort it takes to move and establish high camp, so the team slept in and recuperated today. Tomorrow (Monday), they will assess the weather and the condition of all the team members. If everything and everyone seems good-to-go, they will make an attempt on the summit!
We’ll keep you posted…