The Summit Trip
This weekend was the weekend I learned proper rope travel with my glacier climbing class. Magellan, QuetzalCoatl and I and are all in this OSAT climbing course. This trip was a blast and it was the first time I have done snow camping in a long time. We camped out by the Stevens Pass Ski Area Saturday night and reviewed proper rope travel, rope commands, and proper use of pickets and belays.
The next day though was the Cowboy Mountain summit day. We started at 4 am due to the high avalanche danger. It was a very smart call by our leaders to leave early for this mountain. We were all roped up in full climbing gear in our to practice for the larger mountains. It was interesting how professional and hardcore we looked getting ready for something like Cowboy Mountain. You would have thought we were going for something bigger. But it made for great training though.
We all lined up in our rope team and headed up Cowboy Mountain. It was good practice in patience, command calling, breaking trail, and looking for the safest route to the summit. On the way up we were greeted with a beautiful sunrise and stellar views of Glacier Peak to the north, and Rock Mountain and Mount Howard to the east along with tons of others mountains. The pacing was slow due to the large number od student in this class. However all of us easily made it to the top and were greeted with the stellar views of Cowboy Mountain.
One of the catching shots of this summit was the large number of cornices on it. This mountain had a number of avalanche chute and caution is strongly advised on the northern side. Luckily we were with strong teaching guides who picked out the route very well. I thank them very much for setting up the route for us.
It was great on the summit spending time with fellow classmates. We all spent about 15-35 minutes on the summit and then headed back down to camp to take down our camp. Going down was a little quicker but caution did need to be used due to the softening of the snow. Overall though it was a great trip down.
When we got to the summit of Cowboy Mountain we were greeted by surprisingly great views. The snow on the mountains really makes the mountains perfectly glow. We spent some time on the mountain and then headed back down to avoid any possible problems with avalanches. The snow was soft and was getting softer by the minute. The route we took was well guided did avoid all possible areas of concern. Thank you guides for looking out for us.
A special thank you goes out to all the volunteers who setup the event and spent there time this weekend to help learn the basics. It was a wonderful time and want to thank everyone in the class who made the trip special. I feel very lucky to in this course and I look forward to my future trips.