Bernd Horsman called in a nice post, which was unfortunately the victim of the vagaries of satellite communication. It is not too intelligible, but I’ll leave it up, as it’s nice to hear his voice.
The team pushed up a load of supplies and gear to the narrow ridge line at 16,400′ today. This involved climbing about 1.5 hours up a moderately steep snow slope and another hour of the steepest climbing on the entire route. Along this steep section, are two lengths of rope, fixed into the ice at semi-regular intervals.
These “fixed lines” are maintained in a collaborative effort between the National Park Service and the mountain guides, and allow climbers an additional level of protection on the steep terrain. Each climber clips a mechanical rope clamp known as an ascender onto one of the ropes. These ascenders will only move in one direction, and will clamp onto the rope if weighted in the other (down!) direction. Attached to the harness of a climber, they can help provide protection in the event of a slip.
The weather sounds glorious and the mountain was very clear, so let’s hope for a few more days of the same!