At 4,600' we were in Alpine territory and we had our first real views. Everybody was ready for a break so we stopped and had our second lunch break of the day. Above, Dan gets his first real views of the North Cascades.
Sorry to bomboard you w/ so many shots of camp, but it's one of my favorite parts of climbing. We got to see our route. You can see summit pinnacle in the distance; the central gully was choked w/ snow. The central gully is a 4th class scramble to the summit. It would be a whole different animal in the snow, I tried to discern the best route. I wanted to approach the "fan" at the bottom of the pinnacle from the right. As I studied the summit, I tried to imagine how it would look when we're up close and personal. It looked pretty darn steep from here, especially in the small constriction of snow. When I crawled into the tent, little did I know, I wouldn't see the route again until 1200 noon the following day.
Susie only slept seven minutes the night before and here, she enjoy's a few more z's. We had no idea how close to the summit we were. I figured we were within 200' and I could only hope the terrain would ease up. Normally 200' is just around the corner, on this day, we had to scratch and claw for every yard.
Who's your Daddy? Dan? Wait a minute, it almost looks like the clouds are thinning?
The team begins decending the route. Little did we know, we were about to get some very dramatic views. The mood was a bit anxious. We had alot of work to do. This route took every trick I had in my bag. Down climbing most of the stuff was simply out of the question for our team. We ended up setting up a few rappels. I've never had to leave gear behind on a route and hated to do it. It's not really the money, just the principal. I looked around at my friends and almost all of them were worth the safety of rappelling versus the danger of down climbing; so we left some gear.
Snappy Bryon and I can finally smile. I know I took a few minutes to decompress when we reached the safety of the 45 degree slopes. For me, seeing our team laugh and joke in the safety of what will be forever known as "Poop Rock," was the most rewarding moment of the climb. As I said earlier, summits don't mean a bunch to me but seeing my friends basque in the sun after a huge days work, that's what it's all about.
Amy is the best. The rest is none of your guys' business.
Thanks for sharing in our adventure. I apologize for being so wordy but there's a little bit of Keith Garlinghouse in everybody.
Oh yeah, it was my 18th peak. I didn't have any excitement about this because Robyn Smith wasn' there. When we climb this mountain again in July, then it'll mean alot to me.