Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 18-19, 2011

Left RMI base camp around noon, secured our climbing permits and headed to camp muir, which is about 4.1 miles and mostly snow fields.  Arrived at the camp around 5 ish and dropped some gear, repacked and laid out what we would need for later that night/next morning.  Heated up some water for mountain house chili Mac and beef and went to bed around 8 pm.  Hiking into muir a cloud covered the entire mountain and it was near whiteout conditions but as the night wore on, the clouds started to lift, the temp rose and the stars were visible. I was amazed at how fast the weather can change up high. We got up around midnight and was surprised how comfortable sleeping on a glacier can be.  I slept great.   Our goal was to get started ahead of the big guided groups and move fast up the mountain.  climbing with a harness, roped up to other people was new to me and took a little bit to get used to.  The glacier was glowing a vibrant blueish green from below.  There were a few crevasses to step over, some small a few others large, one required a ladder. Most of them I couldn't see the bottom.  I read about these in a book and it was very cool to experience these first hand.  We reached the summit around 5 am and it was still dark.  I could see Seattle, Yakima, mt Adams, mt baker, mt st. Helens all big, all glowing.  I kept thinking people are down there, tucked in there beds and I just climbed a mountain.  We skipped the cliches of that was only half of the climb or getting up is optional, getting down is imperative, took a few pics from the top.  It was a little windy, somewhat cold but not unbearable.  Heading back down, I tried to offer words of encouragement to the groups climbing up, most people looked trashed, focused and quiet.  We ended up at camp muir without incident, got to watch the sunrise while climbing down and I got to lead a section while roped up.  I hung out at camp muir for about an hour and a half, packing up some things we left in the tent and moved down to the parking lot pretty fast.  It is amazing how I can move when I want to get out of the uncomfortable plastic boots.  Got back to the hotel in time for a shower and a late lunch before driving to Seattle.  Climbing mountains seems to put my life in perspective,  it makes me feel very small and reminds me that 1. The mountains don't care.  2.  The world is a big place 3. They help me reflect on what is important in my life, the people. My values and beliefs and 4. They act as a kind of reset button.  The views aren't to bad either.  

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