You have to excuse the mosquitoes--they're only following orders from SatanWe started from the Willow Lake trailhead around 4pm and soon hordes of mosquitoes were having their way with us. We prayed for wind and rain. It started to rain and the wind picked up. But the marauding demons were undeterred. We reached Willow Lake cold and wet shortly after 7pm, set up camp, and crashed for the night. A later-than-planned start the next morning allowed John to catch us (he planned to do this as a day-hike). But Sarah wasn't feeling great and an hour into the hike we decided to turn back; John would continue on the standard route up Challenger Point. Now thoroughly enamored of the north ridge, Sarah couldn't let go, so after some deliberation we decided to take it slow. Several hours later she was feeling better and we were enjoying the highly exposed but solid class-4 rock on the spine of Kit Carson's dinosaur-shaped north ridge. John joined us on the summit and we all returned to Challenger Point via Kit Carson avenue. There we paused for a Splattski with Dave before descending the scree-ridden standard route from Challenger. We broke camp and were promptly ambushed by the mosquitoes. After enduring several more hours of spirit-crushing torment we reached the truck and fled..
Kudos to Dave and especially to John who covered the same mileage in a day to bag two well-earned summits.