Today at 14 Camp the team rested, relaxed, ate and caught up on sleep. They have a big day tomorrow, climbing up the Headwall section of the West Buttress Route.
The Headwall starts out at about 45 degrees and mellows somewhat as you get higher. The 600′ vertical rise is protected by ropes affixed into the ice by anchors at semi-regular intervals. Each climber clips a mechanical ascender (fancy climbing rope clamp) onto one of the ropes. The ascender is attached to the climber’s harness and will lock off when weighted. This affords an extra measure of protection against a slip on the steep terrain. The climbers are still roped together, which gives them a redundant measure of protection. Today the Team practiced some of the skills required to ascend the fixed lines.
Here’s Arturo with the team report: