This afternoon was our gear check for our climb tomorrow. It all went well with both of us having what we were supposed to bring. They told us to leave some stuff behind, even though it was on the check list. I’m leaving behind a jacket that I do not need and a pair of long underware (I brought two, but they said we’ll only need one).
We also had too much food. Go figure. We do need to hit the store after dinner tonight and get more sugar snacks for the summit attempt. They suggest candy bars and gummybears. That sort of thing. Anything with lots of sugar. Interesting.
So, tomorrow Robert is dropping us off at Alpine Ascents at about 5:45 – 6:00 am. We drive to Ashford (about 1:45 hours) where we’ll have a chance to eat again (we plan on having a light breakfast before leaving for Alpine Ascents anyway) and meet one or two of our four guides. We’ll finish getting geared up and then hike up to Camp Muir. We should be on the trail by 9:30 am and arrive at Camp Muir in about 5 – 7 hours. They will cook dinner for us and then off to bed by 7:30 pm. We meet the remainder of our guides at Camp Muir. They are up on the mountain right now, actually.
The accommodations up there are supposed to be nice, for a mountain. There is a latrine and Alpine Ascents has their own plywood bunkhouse for us to sleep in.
We’ll get up the next morning at 7:30 am and have breakfast then break camp and move up to the high camp on the Ingraham Glacier. There we will practice self arrest, crevasse rescues and other glacier type of mountaineering. So far this year, Alpine Ascents has had only one climberfall into a crevasse. After hanging around for about 2 hours, he was rescued and still made the summit. He only fell 20′ too.
After dinner it will be off to bed again around 5:30 pm for an early morning wake up call of around 11:00 pm that night to 1:00 am. Somewhere in that two hour window. Depends on weather conditions.
The summit attempt will start shortly after we get up and should take about 4 – 5 hours. Right now conditions up there are not very great and the forecast isn’t much better. They told us at the gear check they are expecting highs in the 20’s with wind gusts from 50 – 60 mph. Course, this changes hourly, which is one reason for the two hour window for when we will be getting up. The good thing is they said these current conditions should not stop a summit attempt. It really comes down to how much snow falls (they are only expecting an inch or so) and the avalanche danger the new snow over the hard glacier creates.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
We will be taking a lighter pack for the summit attempt and leaving a lot behind at high camp. Once we summit and come back to high camp, we pack up and head back to Camp Muir. Then back down to the bottom at Paradise. Once at the bottom, we catch a van back to Ashford where we change into new clothes and have a victory dinner with our climbing group. Then it’s another 1:45 hour van ride back to Alpine Ascents where Barbara is picking us up. Barbara, we should be back down town around 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
That’ s it.
We’ll talk again in a couple days!!