McKinley: Day Fourteen - Carry to 16,000’

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | May 15, 2007
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

Carry Day! Today we made our first trip up the fixed lines from 14,000’ to the West Buttress proper. Everyone, guides and climbers, ascends the fixed lines via an ascender attached to the fixed line. We also use our climbing rope for extra protection. This is the most effective, safest way to ascend the steep slopes below the West Buttress proper. The NPS installs and maintains these ropes with help from the guides. It’s a tough haul getting up but the view from the top of the fixed lines is great. It’s two thousand feet down on either side. On one side there is the Peters Glacier, the other side looks back down to the 14,000 ft. camp. What a cool spot!

The wind was kicking up when we reached the top of the fixed lines so we had everyone clip into anchors and take a break while the guides dug a cache for our gear. We have left 5 days of food and fuel here for our use when we move to high camp at 17,000’.

After filling in our cache we returned down the fixed lines to our lovely home at 14. The camp is looking very nice after a few rest days. We’ve made a sign out of snow that lets folks coming in to camp know who we are and our snow walls protect our tents nicely from the wind. We even made a television set and remote control out of snow, however the reception here in the Alaska Range is not very good.

On The Map



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