Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mt. Baker Climb - Day 2

So, day 2, summit attempt day. The alarm went off at 3:15 am with the goal of being out by 4. It was pretty easy to get up, as it was FREEZING!!!!! I made some pitas with cheese (which I found in my pack 2 days later), ate some watery oatmeal for the first time in my life, drank some black coffee, used the AMAZING toilet with a view. I borrowed the stove for some coffee, and melted plastic from my new pot all over the fire holes. Can you say moron? By the time Angela sawed off the hard plastic shell now sitting on the stove, we headed out.

We hiked up to where we would crampon up. The only light was our headlamps. It was amazingly cool and beautiful to be walking on a huge glacier in the dark. We kept going forever, but I was having a blast. The foot of fresh powder was a killer, but I loved it anyway. We crossed snow bridges over crevasses, and walked around quite a few huge holes in the ground. I did pretty well keeping up with Angela's pace and only taking a few mini stops. (I had to keep up, I was roped in).

We got to about 9500 feet, and the team in front of us said they were going back down. We turned around and saw why. White clouds covered the mountain side and the trails we just made. We went a little further and decided attempting to summit wouldn't be smart so we turned around. Getting down was tough. The winds were very strong and covered the trail we had just followed. The snow was filling in the crevasses, and I actually "holed out" 3 times on the way down.

I was slightly dissappointed not to have summited,but I had an incredible time and learned a ton. My favorite quote about climbing is from Ed Viesturs, "Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory." Looking up as we descended, the upper mountain was covered in clouds and we could see the high winds swirling.

All in all, I loved it. I learned a ton about climbing and glaciers, and experienced making good decisions. Angela was awesome. I will definitely be back to get to the top at some time.

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Climbing Mt. Baker

Slideshow of Mt Washington Climb

Recording about the Mt. Washington and New Hampshire Trip - 2/11/07

6 Minutes of Video of the Mt Washington Climb 2-11-07

This is long but will give you a feeling for the climb on Sunday.