Prior to landing on the glacier, the plane did a few fly overs of the projected Ramen route. Then, after sleeping on it and while skiing from basecamp toward Mt. Hunter, Dupre digested what he had observed and made the decision to change his plan; the icefall is simply too heavily broken up for unroped travel. It's a tough call when you spend a year mentally visualizing and planning for a route to then change it on the fly - but such is mountaineering.
Dupre leaving basecamp. Photo courtesy of John Thain KTVA.com
He is now tackling the northwest basin variation of the west ridge, the same route he tried in previous attempts. This time, snow conditions allowed him to make it through the crevasses and even gain some elevation to stash 9 days of food at his next projected camp.
Today, he had a snow bridge that spanned a large crevasse settle under his weight. By carefully receding and mentally regrouping, he was able to find a safe passage elsewhere.
The snow is deep, travel is slow. Dupre is working hard to keep the mental game together. With a 2-day snow storm coming on the weekend, it is critical that Dupre make it to the ridge with sufficient supplies to be off those avalanche-prone slopes.
Photo: Red line shows the icefall Dupre navigated to stash his food on the slope.