Day 12 and 13: Rest, and then Upwards!

After caching on Day 11, Jason and Brent took another rest day. If you read Jasons analysis of reasons he thinks they were not successful in 2018, not taking enough rest/acclimation days was high on that list. They used their rest day to organize gear and decide what they would take with them to the next camp. They whittled down their loads by leaving all the “luxury” items behind, such as the solar charges, extra batteries, their cooking pan, cleaning wipes, and more. This will make their ascent up to the next camp a little bit easier, and at the high elevation every little bit helps.

Today, Day 12, the made the climb up to 17,200 foot camp, also known as High Camp! This is the last stop before the summit. After waking up to negative 6 degree temps, they packed their gear and were on their way.

On the way, the stopped and grabbed the items they had cached on Day 10 at around 16,000 feet. They did this so they do not have to use an extra day to go back down and get the items. This allows them to have a full rest day if they want before making a summit attempt.

High Camp is know for its windy conditions and subzero temperatures. Temps are predicted to be 15 below zero (or colder) over the next few days. Generally, you want to limit the time spent here as everything you do puts you at risk for cold exposure injuries (like frostbite), and because its much harder for the body to function so high up.

That being said, it looks like the next few days should have decent weather. It will be cold but the winds should not be super strong and there should not be any storms. That means unless something unexpected comes up (bad weather or illness) we can expect the guys to make a summit bid sometime in the next 2-3 days!

Summit Day is generally a grueling 12-15 hour day, so teams making a summit attempt need to have good weather and feel fit and ready to go. Last time they were turned around due to potential cold injuries combined with worsening winds.

Keep your eyes open for updates about a potential summit bid!

2018 photo climbing the steep snow between the cache site and High Camp.
2018 photo climbing the ridge before reaching High Camp.
They are currently at the flag on the far left. The flags show the route they take on summit day.

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