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|Weather||Hot and Sunny|
|Mailed to WacList||07/11/2006|
We wanted to go climbing, we wanted to go scrambling, and we wanted to go camping, and we couldn't make up our minds which would be better. So we decided to do all three.|
Thus the Mt. Daniel Triathlon was created at 7am on Saturday morning. 42 hours later our team staggered back into the park and ride, missing one car, several gallons of water, and with several lessons learned. With any multi-sport race, it is all about the transitions. This is that story.
When you arrive at exit 38 before 8am, you can have your choice of routes, so we climbed WeDid* until it got warm, and then moved down to Substation until 11:30. At this point, it was time for food.
The first transition -- from Exit 38 to The Family Pancake House. Our team carefully paced itself through this leg. We needed the food to get us through the finish, but no one was brave enough to order Bob's Special. A simple round of French toast, hash browns, bacon waffles, Bavarian pancakes with applesauce, and Andy was the odd man out with a hamburger and a shake. Refueled with a serious case of food coma threatening, we entered the second transition, exit 53 to the trail head.
Scatter Ck is flowing well and rinsing all the dust off your wheels (and your brakes). After discarding 1/2 of our equipment at the trailhead (really, do we need 4 stoves, 3 water filters, and 2 shovels? no we do not) we headed into the wilderness, quickly passing some skiers headed up for turns on the Mt. We hit patches of snow at Squaw Lake, and then solid snow up onto Cathedral Ridge, and camped on the snow just before the pass. Larry performed a quick costume change. Out came a pair of boxers with "handle with care" in bold print across the broad expanse of his backside. After all the abuse on Mt. Baker, he was finally prepared.
Early Sunday morning, it was off to the summit. The ledges west of Cathedral Rock are nice and clear, and the snow resumed at Peggy's Pond (frozen). We had a choice of routes and decided to follow the "standard route" up the south-east ridge. It was already warm, but none of the route options any shade. Just below the false summit we traversed right onto the snow in the upper basin. Passing through the saddle south of the east summit, we traversed alternating snow and scree to the saddle at the top of the Lynch Glacier, and then talus and beating sun all the way to the main summit. We passed the skiers (again) on the way up, and shared the summit with a dog who has more summits this year than Andy (8). The view was clear from Mt. Baker in the north, around to Mt. Stuart (Hi Joe!) in the east, to Mt. Adams in the South (Hi all you WAC skiers) to the Olympics to the west (Hi to the Mt. O. team). There were WACers in almost every direction. Tuck Lakes and Deep Lake were melted out, but almost every other lake in sight (Pea Soup, Venus, Circle, Spade, Robin Lakes, Peggy's Pond) were still frozen. We baked on the summit for a while, melted Hershey Bars in the sun, refroze them in the snow, and melted them again.
Our return trip we passed over the saddle just south of the east summit, and then traversed below the east face, ran the east ridge for about 600 yds, and descend the slopes on the north side of the basin. This route provided a nice set of glissades, but will melt out in the next week or two. Back to camp, saddle up and off to the trailhead by 8pm, things were looking good for a successful finish. Alas, it was not to be. The final transition remained between us and a shower, soft bed, and clean clothes.
The advance vehicle carrying Larry and Mike headed out to the ford. After crossing, they waited for Andy and Gilbert to catch up....15 minutes later, still no white Toyota. Obviously they were malingering and taking pictures of the sunset. Returning to the scene of the crime it was revealed that the Gilbert's right rear wheel would not rotate. We considered dragging the wheel all the way to Seattle, but decided it would leave too large a flat spot on the tire. So, we loaded almost everything into the Honda, and headed back down the road. Perhaps Honda could use our packing list for a commercial. We had 4 overnight packs, 4 daypacks with ropes and gear, trailhead bags for spare shoes and clean cotton, extra food, all that extra gear we didn't take up the Mt, and 4 people. At the ford, we discovered that there was one important item still in the Toyota.....Gilbert's house keys. Back 20 minutes to the trailhead for the keys..... We verified that the Burger King in Cle Elum is closed at 11, grabbed a bite to eat at Safeway, and then on to the city.
Photos can be found at:
Larry: http://hikingtrips.spaces.msn.com/photos/ (navigate to Mt. Daniel album)
We would like to acknowledge the various people and organizations who have made this triathlon possible.
We thank Krispy Kreme for the summit doughnuts.
We thank the National Forest Service for providing a good crop of mosquitoes.
And we extend special thanks to a caveman named Ogg who first tamed fire and started this whole global warming process.
Larry, Gilbert, Andy, and Mike....
In late breaking news: there has been a protest lodged against the team. The rules committee is evaluating charges that a cotton shirt was worn while the team was traveling on snow. The chairman of the rules committee promises a decision within the next 5 years after reviewing all of the evidence.