Today our expedition took a new turn. Poor conditions on the West Ridge—in particular the Hornbein Couloir—have made that climbing route unsafe. The West Ridge leg of the climb has been officially called off.
Expedition leader Conrad Anker explains:
“It’s a very dry and windy season. Normally we have terrain that’s snowy. Your crampons have good purchase, and you can move along at a good clip. But what we have now is that that surface layer of snow has been stripped away, leaving bare ice. It’s very ancient ice that’s difficult to climb on.”