Awesome North Face, Brilliant Crystal
Awesome North Face, Brilliant Crystal
Page Type: Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
39.58860°N / 105.6428°W
Jun 18, 2005
Created/Edited: Jun 20, 2005 / Mar 4, 2006
Object ID: 170146
Page Score: 71.9%
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June 17, 2005
I took my usual melatonin before I went to sleep so I would be able to get as much sleep as I could. I crawled into bed and passed out.
4:30 a.m. June 18, 2005
I woke up abruptly to my father's booming voice telling me to start getting ready. This was a fairly late start but since the forcast was great there was no rush. After I got dressed we ate some oatmeal and got on the road.
After about 30 minutes on the road my dad got that "oh crap" look, he looked at me and told me he forgot the sandwiches and his cellphone. We tried to find anywhere to get sandwiches but everything was closed except for trusty ol 7/11. Soon enough we were back on track. After what seemed like no time we were at summit lake trailhead.
As my dad used the bathroom I took some shots of the Sunrise Col and Evans whil she was bathed in Alpenglow. Soon enough we hoisted our packs and started to move.
The wind was fairly nippy but not too bad. We ascended up the scree to reach the basin below the North Face. The view was incredible, to me an immature climber it seemed vertical. We found a place to suit up into our gear, by this time the wind was really picking up. My teeth were chatering either because of nerves of being cold. We snapped some photos and were on our way.
About 1/4 of the way up my crampon on my right foot was loostening really bad so of course I tried to tighten it. No use, my foot just kept sliping out and this was not place to take it off and shorten it so I decided just to keep on truckin'. Soon enough we were into the sunlight and out of Evan's shadow. I never had felt so alive in my life! The snow was perfect and I felt great.
The snow steepened but never became too bad. We started to here voices and looked up to see three skiers descending to the face. We finally reached them and as we were taking our gear on they were getting ready. One was nervouse about it because of all the "death cookies" (Huge blocks of avalanche debris)
As we ascended we too a brief glance back and one by one they went flying down the mountain and reached the basin. We quickly gained the ridge and hiked towards the summit. We reached it quickly but since ther was noone there we continued to what we thought was the real summit. We reached that and the relized that we just passed it. Ooops, but no biggie. Soon we were sitting down and eating gummies and drinking gatorade.
I asked my dad the time and it was only 8:55. One by one people reached the summit, almost all hiked up from the parking lot. One man asked us if we drove and my dad showed him our route and he went googoo eyed and thought that my dad was a hero.
Later we saw a group of three young boys with huge packs, and the were using all of the latest clothes, they came from the lot and I was confused as to why they were so decked out. About 20 minutes later the kicked us out of our spot so they could do their photo shoot. They were modeling! Their packs were full of fluff. It was a wierd feeling to come to a summit like that.
As we descended my dad got some crazy idea that we could descend the Snave. No Way! We compromised by choosing to descend the Crystal. I peered down into it and it was a bowling alley of rocks and covered in bad ice. As we were gearing up some snowboarders traversed over us and boarded down a different chute, it sounded like they were making an avalanche.
But as we started down the colouir they were almost down.
My dad started down the ice and I could tell that he was scared. I slowly downclimbed to the ice and felt like the dude in the movie "K2" who was on the bad ice and fell. I carefully descended it, the ice was so hard I couldn't plant my ice axe. I was pissed off. I just invisioned my self glissading the North Face and being down right now. But my dad told me that it was good experience.
We were descending down the "good" ice backwards and I wish that i had one of the techincal Ice Axes. I got scared when i looked down and just cut my self a spot to sit down. About 15 yards below me was a rocky outcroping and below that all i could see was the basin. By this time my piss was scared out of me due to my immaturity. Not literally.
I got up and decided to descend facing forward, it worked but I was shakey. Finally we were out of the firste coloir and descended into the second that was more protected. By this time I was feeling better and the coloir wa a piece of cake , the we dropped down into the main slope and it was easy plunge stepping from there.
In what felt like not time we were back to our car at Summit Lake where kids were playing tag and girls were screamin about bugs attacking them. It was a wierd felling to be there with all of those people, but they have to enjoy the mountains somehow. We drove off listening to the band Sweet and it was only 11:30, and the long drive of passing bikers began.