The verdict: not so bad. I guess my expectations were that it would be exceptionally difficult, but I honestly didn’t the Headwall to be particularly difficult. Granted, we weren’t carry that much in our packs, but it’s still a steep slope (roughly 45-50 degrees at times). It took us just over 3 hours to make it up to the top of the fixed lines (which is where the route meets the 16,200ft Knife-edge Ridge). We dug our cache in on the ridge, not far from the fixed lines. It was so sunny that I actually climbed in only my Patagonia Tropical Sun Hoody—a light, hooded top that is actually meant to be used for fly-fishing in hot conditions. Well, guess what, it also works on Denali. Or, worked…until I got up to the ridge. Until that point, there had been no wind, only the hot sun. But there was a definite breeze up on the ridge and I got quite chilled while I waited on the fixed lines for Joe to secure us on an anchor. Lesson learned for next time…!