We had a lot of crap to take with us, so we loaded up our packs, which consisted of a few group food bags per person, many gallon cans of fuel split between us, a couple hundred wands, some shovels, spades, and any personal gear each climber wanted to cache up higher so he didn't have to carry it tomorrow with all the rest of the tents and camp gear when we officially break Camp 1 and move up.
|Into the huge snowfied above C1|
|Gettin' it done.|
As the first rope team prepared to climb, Kirk paused, saying his stomach pains had gotten worse and that he's now starting to get quite nauseated under exertion. So Joey promised to set a slow pace and see how it went, and off they went ahead of us.
|Spreading out up the mountain|
Then today, we leapfrogged past them on our way up. They said they were taking a rest day, so we waved, said hello, and plodded on past their tents. Hmm… bizarre. It would suck have these guys tagging along the whole trip.
|Nate and Craig on break at 8,900 feet.|
|Down to 3 climbers, and getting steeper|
We would be an all or nothing team from that point forward, since, if someone else were injured or unable to continue, there would no longer be a second guide to stay back in camp with them or take them down while the others continued.
But Bob saved the day when he dropped another bombshell: "I'd be willing to volunteer to go down with Joey and Kirk. I mean all the way out. I feel like my pace is slowing everyone up.
Normally, I like to feel in the mountains that I can take care of myself plus one other person--and I just don't feel like I can do that right now."
So it was agreed: Joey will take two climbers down, they'll stay Camp 1 tonight, and head down and back across the glacier to Kahiltna Base Camp tomorrow. Continuing on up the route will be a party of three: Nate, me, and Craig. Faster, lighter, and more nimble… it should be fun!
So we all swapped various rope team members, gear, and provisions, and Joey's team headed down, while Nate's team (with me on it) headed up to 10k.
|Nate, caching gear at Camp 2|
|Downclimbing back into Camp 1|