The June 13th West Buttress team is taking advantage of a beautiful day in the Alaska Range to move up to the basin camp at 11,200′. They put in a cache of equipment yesterday and today are climbing up past that cache to establish a new camp. This system of carrying equipment and supplies to the next camp, or to a point near the next camp is called “double carrying,” and it is a nice way to both aid climbers’ acclimatization and also ferry the mountain of food, fuel and gear up the route.
The route today climbed up a moderately steep hill on the Kahiltna Glacier known as Ski Hill an onto the upper stretch of the Kahiltna. At about 10,200′, the team made a hard right hand turn and is currently climbing up into a stunningly beautiful basin, where they will make camp. The basin is flanked on two sides by snow slopes and a third side by massive ice cliffs. The fourth side opens to the west and provides climbers with a view of the heavily glaciated Kahiltna Dome and glimpses of the tundra beyond the Range, which stretches all the way to the western edge of Alaska.
Here’s Mountain Trip guide Travis Williams with today’s report: