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|TrailConditions||There's a trail?|
|Mailed to WacList||10/05/2010|
OK, so we aren't quite as hardcore as Chris and Gerhard. And Thursday's weather forecast was looking awfully good. We decided to just have fun. So, I got out of job A by saying I had to work at job B, and I got out of job B by sort of just not showing up (do not ask me for details). Magda and I set our sights on South Early Winter via the easy route. Gordy Skoog ("what's a skoog?") was persuaded to take a long lunch break and join us. We planned a 10:15 am meeting at the trailhead.|
Thursday morning we departed from our various starting points. Gordy was on time. Magda and I were a little late, getting held up by trains, RVs, and potty stops. At the trailhead we discussed gear - Gordy decided on a roped (if necessary) solo. Magda and I took an 8mm, three cams, and sticky shoes. Off we went, but not on the trail! Gordy had a shortcut through the woods. This worked pretty well, once he found it. It might even be almost as fast as the trail.
Anyway, in about an hour we got to the southeast buttress. Gordy discovered he had forgotten his rope (so much for the "roped" part of the solo). We offered him our rope, but he declined. We offered him lunch, but he declined that also. Magda and I got out our rope and pretended we remembered how to use it. Meanwhile, Gordy just scrambled up the start of his "safe start" and convinced me to follow him. I discovered that this involved climbing a dead tree, and then making a 5.7 move off a fist jam. Slipping would result in impalement on said tree. But if he could do it, so could I... After watching all this, Magda just climbed the regular 5.4 route to the right, and even used the rope.
Then it was the usual easy scramble up the gully to the chimney. I managed to find a hard way to do the chimney (I hate chimneys). Magda and Gordy just somehow sort of coasted up. More talent than me I guess. Then we scrambled on up to the arete, which I think is the funnest part of the climb (especially walking across with no hands, but Gordy said we were too old for such shenanigans). Magda was not happy with any of this silliness, and said she wanted to be doing something safe like kayaking Tumwater canyon. Seriously.
Anyway, soon we were at the summit. No wind, and great views. We admired Goode, Dome, etc., and talked over old routes. We offered Gordy more lunch, and again he declined. This resulted in an inventory of his gear, which we discovered consisted of: Four cams with slings, a harness, a windbreaker, and a granola bar.
On the other hand, Magda and I had splurged: In addition to our three cams, we actually had a rope, two tuna fish sandwiches, and water bottles! (And I also had a headlamp and a first aid kit.) But it was a great day, and we were happy.
Soon it was time to go. Gordy had to get back to work, and we had to catch a ferry. Down we went. Gordy took off at a furious pace and was last seen waving to us from the arete. We were slower - Magda sensibly wanted a belay downclimbing the chimney. We also rappeled the starting moves, since after all we did have a rope!
Down through the golden larches we went. A swim in Blue Lake was ruled out ("I'm tired." "Wimp!") Down through the woods we went... "Where's our ascent route? There's bees here! OUCH!!" So much for shortcuts. But the car was eventually found. An email revealed that Gordy made it back to work. We made a ferry (notice it wasn't "the" ferry). Dinner was good. We slept well, in real beds (no bivying for us - sorry Chris and Gerhard). No one at work was given details of our absence. "Days spent climbing will not be subtracted from your life."