4. Day: Single carry to 2.380m Camp 1
Departing base camp, we’ll drop down the infamous Heartbreak Hill and onto the broad Kahiltna Glacier. Our goal will be to move camp to about 2.380m, near the junction with the NE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. This is a moderately tough day of about 5 miles and is a good shakedown for the upcoming days. Throughout the expedition we will typically follow the “climb high, sleep low” technique for better acclimatization; however, the altitude difference between Base Camp and 2.380m Camp is minimal enough to permit us to generally “single-carry” this stretch. On the late May and June expeditions, we may climb early in the morning to avoid excessive heat and soft snow conditions on the lower glacier.
**Quick Stats: 8 km with 365m of elevation gain Climbing time: ~ 4.5 – 6 hours
5. Day: Haul loads up to Kahiltna pass.
We’ll head out of 2.380m Camp and carry loads up the 548m Ski Hill. Several options exist for campsites between 2.740 & 3.350m, depending upon weather, snow conditions, and team strength. This is a moderately difficult carry of 11- 14,5km round trip, with 600 – 900m of elevation gain and a return to 2.380m Camp for the night.
**Quick Stats: 12.87 km round trip, with 670m of elevation gain and loss Climbing time: ~ 6 – 8 hours
6. Day: Move everything to Camp 2
This is an incredibly beautiful location that basks in alpenglow when the sun travels around the north side of the mountain.
**Quick Stats: 7.64 km one way, with 1036m of elevation gain Climbing time: ~ 5.5 – 7 hours
7. Day: An “active rest day” for acclimatisation
We pick up the cache we left near Kahiltna Pass.
**Quick Stats: 2.4 km round trip, with 365m of elevation loss and gain Climbing time: 1.5 hours round trip
8. Day: Windy Corner.
Steep snow climbing up the 304m high Motorcycle Hill rewards climbers with spectacular views. The total distance for the day is about four miles round trip with a little over 609m of elevation gain. Fun climbing with crampons and ice axe gets you around Windy Corner where the upper mountain comes into view. Have your camera ready!
**Quick Stats: 6.43 km with 700m of elevation gain Climbing Time: ~ 6-7 hours round trip
9. Day: Ascent to “Genet Basin“ (4.350m).
This is usually a long, hard day. Our next camp is generally located at the well-equipped 4.350m camp in the expansive Genet Basin. Loads are getting lighter and the air is getting thinner. Upon arrival, everyone will need to pitch in to build our camp, as we need to fortify our tents due to the possibility of severe winds.
**Quick Stats: 4 km with 914m of elevation gain Climbing time: ~ 5 – 7 hours
10. Day: Another “active rest day,”
The team will descend from Genet Basin to the Windy Corner cache and bring everything up to 4.330m. We’ll spend the afternoon going over climbing techniques that we will use in the upcoming days.
**Quick Stats: 1.6 km round trip, with 213m of elevation loss and gain Climbing time: ~ 1.5 hours round trip
11. Day: “Headwall“ to the ridge.
Our goal is to cache supplies up on the ridge above us and return to 4.330m. Climbing up the “Headwall” (the section of route with fixed lines running from 4.720m – 4.900m) with a heavy pack makes this one of the more strenuous days of the trip because of the steep terrain, heavy pack and thinning air. The views from the ridge can be as breathtaking as the rarefied air!
**Quick Stats: 3.8km round trip, with 670m of elevation gain and loss Climbing time: ~ 5-7 hours
12. Day: Rest day – Acclimatisation
13. Day: Move to High Camp (5.250m).
Weather and team strength will again determine this decision. While there is a camp site at 4.900m, it is very exposed, so we usually push for the 4.240m site which is more secure and the better choice for camp. This is a really tough day, as our loads are big and some of the the terrain we will negotiate is steep. Rewards for our work are in the awesome climbing along the ridge. Weaving in and out of the rocks and occasionally walking a knife edged stretch, combined with big exposure, make this day one of the most memorable of the route.
**Quick Stats: 3.21km with 914m of elevation gain Climbing time: ~ 6 – 8 hours
14. Day: Rest day
We usually take a rest day before attempting the summit if circumstances allow.