Great climb with my Son, Andrew. We cancelled last week because of a questionable forecast, but even with 30% chance of showers/snow on the NOAA web site this Monday, Andrew wanted to go , so I thought I could try out my new tent and get my legs tested hiking in to Hogsback camp. Weather was ideal Sunday and Monday morning with stars only at 2:00AM...and I am glad we started when we did, because the weather turned into a concern after completing the "Ridge" ice climbing. Tons of snow still at Hogsback, very few dry tent spots. By the way, coming in on Sunday afternoon, we found the parking lot full, but almost everyone leaving. Climb during the week if you can is lesson here!!! Only a few groups at camp, one party ahead of us on North Ridge, the two climbers left their crampon prints that we followed to summit and down to Roman Wall where the boot path was found to get down in dense fog. The route over from camp to lower approach to North Ridge proved to be direct and no route finding issues. We found the lower approach still steep with 2nd tool helpful at times. Snow with very firm, no boot print or steps to kick and step in. Hard on this old man's ankles. We were still in the Sun and making good time for us on the ice climbing part of the "Ridge", but clouds moved in so fast! We got a glimpse here and there of the mountain, so continued on toward the summit, bailing down North Ridge would have it's own problems. But the fog/clouds got real serious. Andrew, with the better eyes could see the crampon prints from the two ahead of us, so with little choices, he felt we could tract them to the summit. I was concerned with snow falling and wiping out the tracks, but it didn't happen, so no issues. We finally leveled out on top, a quick cloud break at the appropriate time, there was Grants Peak. We hustled over to the boot path down and away we went. Even now I was concerned with wheather we were heading out the Easton Glacier or on Roman Wall, you simply had no reference. I told Andrew to follow the booth path to the North if he could figure it out. We really did not know for sure that we were exiting correctly until we got off the pumice ridge and another brief cloud break. It was a real relief to be going down with confirmation of where we were. We finally got cloud free about 6500 feet. I would say it was a real reminder to have bivy gear with you at all times. I really wondered if we were going to find our way to the summit or bivy near the top. As it all turned out we enjoyed a great climb as Father/Son under conditions that will make this climb unique and memorable.
"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life."
--Peter Gibbons (Office Space)