Do Your Homework
Well, if we had paid attention and done our homework we wouldn't have had the troubles and nuisance we encountered. We were looking for a nice easy little mountain that we hadn't climbed as a test/confidence builder for my climbing partner who has been experiencing some physical difficulties this season. We hemmed and hawed about our options until the morning of the climb then finally decided on Red Mountain. It is listed in both 75 Scrambles in Washington and Smoot's book. We decided to take along the scrambles book because it had a map in it. That proved to be our undoing. Essentially it says in there to go to Red Pond and turn right uphill. We hiked all the way to the Lundin-Red saddle and never saw anyplace that looked sensible to turn, or any sign that anyone had. Finally we backtracked to a snowpatch and took that, figuring the going would be easier. It was - until the snow ran out. Then we found ourselves on unrelenting 3rd class slabby stuff covered with loose rock. Eventually my climbing partner didn't trust himself on it and told me he was backing off. I went on up on the same kind of terrain and summited. Wow! Beautiful day, no wind. Couldn't tear myself away from the summit. From Baker to Adams, all accounted for. Thompson in my lap. Rainier dominating the landscape in an unobstructed view. I finally headed down via reasonable gully below the summit. Then i saw a cairn, then another, then a real life bootpath/trail. It led me quickly down into the first basin we had entered after the trail levelled out. We had been WAY off route. When i went back and read the simple route description on SummitPost that's exactly what it said - as soon as the trail levels go uphill at a small pond (which was obscured from us by snow). Lesson - decide, preferably at home, what you're going to climb and research it instead of "faking it". Saves time on the mountain and is potentially safer.
No comments posted yet.