Sunday, September 20, 2009

Up, down, over!

Three more laps on the mountain and a great hike with some friends to finish off the season.  The good weather continues to hold, at least mostly...

Didn't miss much up on the mountain, in fact it was a great time to be gone.  There had been some pretty horrendous weather on the mountain, and between that and the resulting avalanche danger, no one had summitted for over a week by the time we arrived.  Garrett and Lhakpa Sherpa went up and kicked in part of the route the first day, and Lhakpa and Seth went up the second day and did more work.  Turns out all the snow and wind actually filled in some of the big crevasses we'd had to use ladders over.  They took the ladders out and we walked over the snow again!  I turned around with a climber on this first trip - the potential disappointment inherent in any climb.  But with the help of some other guides in breaking trail, they tagged the first summit in 9 days.

One last hurrah in the Northwest before heading off for many months: hiked the 18-mile Enchantments loop with several friends in one long day.  Perfect weather - it got really hot just once, and we managed to jump in the closest alpine lake for a quick swim.  You know the water's cold when there's still snow melting in the other side... Walked out in the dark, but had a great time through some beautiful terrain.

Last two trips: I ended up staying in camp on the first one with a climber who suddenly realized he's not a climber, and got more sleep than any other three day trip this season.  A beautiful sunrise.  That group went down and I stayed to meet the next group, a crazy bunch of Brits  who had just climbed Mt Adams.  The forecast was completely bad for the next morning, so we took our strong group and did a sunset climb the second night.  Beautiful and, even better, a great call because the weather was in fact crappy when we woke up - no one summitted that morning.  That's what we call sneaking it in.

One day in town and off to India!  Let's see how this one goes...

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