Q: What happens when you combine a climbing trip with a backpacking trip?
A: Really freaking heavy packs.
Q: What happens when your pack is really freaking heavy?
|"pinedale: all the civilization you need"|
|testing recipes in the grocery store parking lot|
DAY ONE: Big Sandy Trailhead to Cirque of the Towers
The hike from the trailhead to Big Sandy Lake is easy (mostly flat), but I am tired. So tired.
|somehow i am still upright|
|the best thing since poptarts: coincidental run-ins with friends from home... 6 miles from the trailhead and|
|pretty, but harder walking than necessary|
|a *very* provisional thumbs up|
|home sweet home|
For me, a “relaxed morning” is two cups of tea, journalling, a nap, and then leaving camp.
For Dave, a “relaxed morning” means sleeping until 7:00 a.m. and eating oatmeal in camp instead of Pop Tarts on the trail.
Interestingly, this pattern is reversed when we're at home. But in any case, mountain climbing barely allows for a Dave-style relaxed morning, so off we go.
|sugar, fat, and calories. and a stomach ache.|
|this looks way cooler and prettier and happier than it was. you just can't see my face is all.|
Finally, we decide to scramble the class 3 and 4 ledges up the southern toe of the southern shoulder. Correct choice, but there are several sections that were exposed and slightly dodgy. It was scary.
|what do you mean, i'm supposed to go right up the side of that? unroped?|
Pitches are long...
|holy exposure, batman!|
|proof that tricams are useful|
|except for the intense wind|
|we made it!|
First time ever that we get a rope stuck on a rappel. Dave ties in with our other rope, leads up to the problem flake, then down-leads. Not too bad.
|exposure on rappel|
|where the HECK is that pack.|
|still a long way to go|
Return across the boulder fields...
|the very definition of type II fun|
Well after dark, we see the headlamps of the party we passed, descending the boulder field. At least we weren't that slow.
DAY THREE: Hike Texas Pass, ~11,400'
My birthday! Dave lets me do whatever I want. Today I get my two cups of tea.
We hike down the Cirque to Lonesome Lake and rest in the sun for a while.
|reigning nap champ|
|can you see them?|
|that one in the middle? we climbed that!|
When we get back to camp, our tent has blown over. Hrm, windier than I thought.
|reflecting and documenting|
|"i vant yer blooooood"|
|catching run-off from the boulder to rinse my dinner bowl|
Even though we brought food for five days, we decide to head out on day four. I'm not inspired by the other climbs in the guidebook. I've got other plans on my mind. And I'm not feeling super great, with bloody sinuses and the beginnings of a hacking cough.
The wind continues intensely from last night's storm as we cross Jackass Pass, this time on the hiker's trail instead of the climber's trail.
|nice hair, dave|
|seriously? what else on this trip...|
|yes, yes i did. back at the car, of course.|
A few hours drive puts us in Lander, one of the most climber friendly towns on the planet. We have a shower at the local climbing and fitness gym, then camp in the City Park. Legally, for once!
|what? usually we have to be discreet...|
|type 2 fun. but still fun :-)|
|cirque of the towers from lonesome lake|