Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Cache Gear by Washburn’s Thumb
We began the day well before the direct sun was in 14,000’ Camp, which made for a chilly start. After a delicious Cinnamon Toast Crunch and coffee breakfast we made our way uphill. The weather was not perfect, but Elias and I were sure that the morning sun would burn off some of the clouds and the winds were going to subside. We made our way kicking steps through deep snow up to the fixed lines that take us to the top of the West Buttress. Our goal was to keep going up to 17,000’ Camp to cache some food and gear, but the deep snow and icy conditions on the fixed lines made travel a bit slower than was expected. We were very happy to cache below a beautiful, giant piece of granite called Washburn’s Thumb at 16,770’. It will be very easy to pick up our cache from there on our move to 17,000’ Camp. We made it back to camp in good style right about dinner time. Elias and I continue to be impressed by the climbers on this expedition.
RMI Guide Mike Haugen