Cason Crane called in today’s report from Low Camp. It sounds like the weather has been great, with low to no wind, and bright sunshine, which made the air temperatures actually warm!
The team completed one of the hardest days of the expedition, carrying loads of supplies up the 2,000′ ridge that climbs directly above their camp. They carried up to establish what will be their High Camp, at roughly 12,500′, when they move up in two days time. Much of the route today was equipped with “fixed lines,” lengths of rope that are affixed to anchors, onto which the climbers can clip an ascender or mechanical rope clamp, which affords them protection in the evnet of a slip on the steep terrain.
This process of carrying roughly half your total “stuff” from your current camp up to the next camp, yet returning back down to sleep is what climbers call “double carrying.” The process has a couple of real benefits. First, it allows you to move your veritable mountain of food, fuel, clothing and equipment up the mountain without completely crushing yourself in the process and secondly, it helps ease your body into the “thinner” air of the next, higher camp. Proper acclimatization is extremely important on an expedition like this, and double carrying is one of the tools that we use to help the process.
Saturday will be a rest day for the team, so they will sleep in, eat like kings and make their final preparations for Sunday’s push up to High Camp. If the weather remains stable, they will head back up and could go for the summit early next week! The weather and climbers’ health dictate when teams can move on a trip like this, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that both are top notch!
Here is Cason, calling from 10,000′ on Mount Vinson: