Cason Crane called from the big basin that is the setting for 14,200′. His post was a bit broken, as a satellite passed from view, but it sounds like they had a great move up and around Windy Corner and everyone is doing well.
The team left early in the morning, far earlier than teams typically depart 11,200′. They did so to pass Windy Corner well before the sun hit the rocky crags of the West Buttress that form the feature. Warm temperatures of last week had caused some increased rockfall, but after carefully observing and documenting their observations, our guides determined that they could negotiate the area during certain hours of the morning and not encounter such an increased hazard.
The plan is to get another early start tomorrow and carry loads up from 14,200′ to about 16,400′ on the ridge that leads to high camp. They will climb up the steepest part of the route in order to arrive at their cache site, a stretch known as the Headwall. This 600′ section of the climb rises between 35-45 degrees and is protected by two lengths of rope, each affixed to the icy bed by a series of anchors. Each climber, while traveling roped together, will clip into a rope with a mechanical clamp called an ascender, which is tethered to the climber’s harness. these ascenders, attached to the fixed lines, afford some additional protection against a slip on the steep terrain.
Here is Cason!