Doug Lindauer gave us all an update on the team’s progress from the broad camp nestled in what is known as Genet Basin.
They crew got somewhat creative today, and cut Matt loose to make a run up to high camp at 17,200′ (5242m) with another MT guide, Karen Bockel, who is on another small team traveling parallel the Lucky Lindy crew. Matt and Karen carried a couple loads of supplies up to high camp, while Doug, Max, Kim and Zach carried loads up to the base of the fixed lines at about 15,600′ (4756m). Everyone returned to camp in Genet Basin to feast on some tasty sounding dinner and get psyched for their first full rest day on Monday.
The route up from camp climbs moderate snow slopes that get steeper as you get higher. The fixed lines are a stretch that ascends the steepest section of the West Buttress route. This can be icy and hits about 45 degrees at its steepest. A combined effort of the Denali guide services and the NPS work to keep ropes installed and maintained up this bit. The climbers will clip themselves into these ropes with mechanical ascenders, which are basically glorified clamps that grip the rope when a downward force is placed on them. They will climb roped together, but with the added security of each being clipped into ropes that are affixed to the icy slope.
The team has been working hard for many days and they have earned a rest day. The camp in the basin is pretty busy these days, so I would venture to guess that Lucky Lindy might find a couple of folks to get to know, something that we know he really enjoys!