The June 9 West Buttress team has arrived at 14,200′, their Camp 3 on the route. Mountain Trip guides Travis and Blake called in an update after the team made a hearty spaghetti dinner in camp after a long day of climbing, gaining approximately 3,000′ of elevation between Camp 2 and Camp 3.
While some wind gusts (especially around the appropriately named Windy Corner) kept the team on their toes, they otherwise had clear weather and great views out over the range. 14-Camp itself is arguably the most scenic on the route, with spectacular panoramic views all the way out over the vast glaciers and rugged peaks of the range to the lush green lowlands and braided rivers of Denali National Park. On a very clear day, climbers can even catch a glimpse of the sun reflecting off of the distant ocean, over 14,000′ below and over 100 miles away.
They will spend at least one rest day at 14-Camp, mentally preparing for the upper mountain and acclimating to the thinner air. The route above 14,200′ becomes increasingly steep, committing and exposed; additionally, High Camp on the route is less protected from the elements, making it even more important that the team have clear weather to move higher. For at least a couple more days, the forecast seems to be in their favor.
Here is a photo that shows the route out of camp up to the headwall and fixed lines:
The team hasn’t been able to call in an update in the past couple of days, and would like to wish a happy belated Father’s Day to those at home.
Here’s Travis and Blake!