Robert Lentz called in a nice update from the basin camp at 14,200′. The team took a planned rest and acclimatization day today, after carrying gear and supplies up to 16,400′ yesterday.
This camp’s elevation is very important for climbers, as it is high enough to help build acclimatization, but not so high as to cause their bodies to deteriorate, which is often what happens after spending time up at the 17,200′ high camp. We typically plan to spend at least four nights at this camp, before launching to the higher camp.
The weather forecast called for fairly high winds, so the team spent some time fortifying their camp by cutting blocks of snow and stacking them so as to create walls around their tents. They have specific snow saws to facilitate cutting blocks from the firm surface of camp. This is tough work, but without additional protection, most tents cannot withstand extreme winds. The exercise is also important as it helps the climbers acclimatize a bit better than if they just spent the day lying around in their tents.