2-13-09 2 Day Mountaineering Course

Bill and two of his sons and two friends are heading to Denali in Spring 2010. This trip was in preparation of that endeavor.

Was I in for a good two days with this group!

 

Getting some paperwork and preparation out of the way in the morning...
Getting some paperwork and preparation out of the way in the morning...

 

A short walk from the car we gear up...
A short walk from the car we gear up...

 

Instruction starts with learning how to walk with crampons on...
Instruction starts with learning how to walk with crampons on...

 

and progresses to learning how to use the axes...
and progresses to learning how to use the axes...

 

Bob prepares for the steeps...
Bill prepares for the steeps...

 

then "sends it"...
"sending it"

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We finished Day 1 by rappelling from the top...
We finished Day 1 by rappelling from the top...

 

Day 2 we met up at Pinkham Notch for an attempt on Mt. Washington… The forecast was for 65-85 mph winds, -30 degrees with the windchill, and 50 foot visibility…

 

Final preparations are made in the pack room...
Final preparations are made in the pack room...

 

Early in the trip we stop and practice "Self Arrest", the ability to stop oneself from sliding down a mountain with their ice axe...
Early in the trip we stop and practice "Self Arrest", the ability to stop oneself from sliding down a mountain with their ice axe...

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Here’s a couple shot videos of the action!

 

Back on the trail...
Back on the trail...

 

It starts to get steeper...
It starts to get steeper...

and steeper...
and steeper...

 

A nice spot for a breather...
A nice spot for a breather...

Above tree-line I am expecting some strong winds, as most parties ahead of us have turned around and headed down…

 

Surprised to find that we are still quite protected from the Northwest winds here...
Surprised to find that we are still quite protected from the Northwest winds here...

 

A quick break at Split Rock and the summit seems attainable today... only .4 miles to go!
A quick break at Split Rock and the summit seems attainable today... only .4 miles to go!

Once we reach the parking lot we feel the full force of the NW wind… I guess it is steady 70 with higher gusts. It’s a bit of a fight to cover the last 200 yards to the true summit, but we did it!

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Of course the summit is really only half way there… we still must go down;

 

A good reason for a "White-out Navigation Plan"
A good reason for a "White-out Navigation Plan"

 

Pink gloves and chocolate? Well, it is Valentine's Day...
Pink gloves and chocolate? Well, it is Valentine's Day...

As we descend below Lion's Head the sun peaks out...
As we descend below Lion's Head the sun peaks out...

Thank you Bill, Bret, Alex, Sawyer, and Krvyl for an excellent two days in the mountains! Best of luck on your Denali adventure, I can’t wait to hear about it!

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