Mt. Moran, our first water start. The paddling across String and Leigh Lakes was a nice rest for the legs and backs since our packs were balanced in the middle of the canoe. The slug up the drainage was steep to say the least. Camp was in a beautiful little treed area with majestic views of the Cathedral group to the south.
Upper CMC face with Hanging Glacier below
Mt. Moran is the first major peak when traveling south from Yellowstone. The obvious black dike seen on the southeast side runs through most of the range and can be seen from the summit running west. The CMC is a fun, straight forward route put up by the Chicago Mountaineering Club in the 40's. The bolt for their Tyrolean traverse can still be found on Unsoeld's Needle. I guess they did not want to climb back up Drizzlepuss on the descent.
Out on the CMC face, after the first pitch, Matt decided he wanted to downclimb nearly to the glacier so he "accidently" dropped his ATC. It was quite humerous watching it bounce down the face . . . almost stop, then bounce some more. It did finally stop just prior to the glacier and within a single rope's length. We did 5 or so pitches, Matt even got to try his first lead, and we unroped up near the top where the angle of the rock lessens.
It was nice and warm on the huge, rounded summit. We ate lunch, visited with the other two teams, and started heading down. One of the guys in the guided group dropped a Nalgene bottle down the chute next to the black dike and it looked like it might bounce clear to the glacier. The other group knocked a boulder down that rolled right between Matt and I. I was elated when it bounced over the rope. On our last rappel at the bottom of the face, our rope hung up. Another team wasn't too far above us so we waited for them to unsnag it for us.
Back in the notch, getting ready to ascend Drizzlepuss, Matt decided to drop his ATC again. This time, it was bouncing toward me and I was able to grab it before it launched off a 500' cliff to the west of the notch. I'm a slow leader so the other teams sat and watched us go back up Drizzlepuss. Man, was I glad when that was over.
When we got back to camp, we ate quickly and headed for the canoe. We were starting to worry about it getting dark before we got off the water. We atleast made it accross Leigh Lake and the portage to String before darkness set in. We even pulled out 100m early when we saw the first beach on our left where we thought it might be.
We decided to sleep in the next morning and to a quick jaunt up Teewinot the next day. It was nice to have Moran under our belts and the canoe strapped to the top of the car.
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