Brian called in to recap the team’s carry up the fixed lines yesterday and to catch everyone up on their progress. All is well and they are taking an acclimatization/rest day at the 14,200′ camp. Tomorrow, weather permitting, they will make the big push up the fixed lines again and establish themselves at the site of the 17,200′ high camp for the West Buttress route.
The fixed lines refer to the steepest section of the route that is located above the 14,200′ camp. About 600 vertical feet of the route are equipped with two, parallel ropes, which are each anchored into the ice at semi-regular intervals. By utilizing an ascender (mechanical, one-way rope clamp) that is attached to their harnesses, climbers can climb this steep stretch with some degree of security from a slip. Above the fixed lines is one of the most fun portions of the entire climb. A narrow ridge climb, with BIG air off to the sides makes for engaging and stunning climbing!