Day 1 - To anvil Rock
My father, age 57, called me up in March to tell me that he had just bid on a summit attempt for two at the Evergreen Hospital Gala Auction in Redmond, Wa, and won the bid. After meeting with the guides a few times we decided on August 1 to be the attempt date. To be prepared for the climb I took my dad up Mt. Baker several weeks before where we summited but he was very tired, so for this trip we decided to head up to Muir a day early so we could have a full day of water melting and relaxing before the attempt.
We started up from paradise around 11 am with the intentions of making it to anvil rock as we could not get a permit to stay in camp muir. This actually worked out pretty well in the end as it gave us something to do on day 2. The hike up to anvil rock was uneventful but pretty. We made it just below the rock and set up camp.
During the night a massive lightning storm moved in and forced us out of the tent. We were unsure how to handle the lightning as we are both fairly novice to it, so we moved our pickets and axes away and descended a bit and found a spot out of the wind and rain in the rocks. There we watched the storm to the south fiercely strike for about 45 minutes. Eventually we headed back for the tent and slept through the night
Day 2 - to Camp Muir and Prep
We awoke to clear skies and heat in the tent. After a lazy morning of granola with dried milk and cocoa, we headed the rest of the way up to Camp Muir. With only 1,500 feet to ascend that day I was moving quickly. A fellow climber told me i was like "a shark that smells blood." He probably didn't realize i'd only been hiking for 30 minutes!
Once at Muir we boiled water and prepared everything for the morning. Our guides, Vik and Sara, showed up later in the afternoon and we went over a few logistics.
We set the alarms for 11 pm and hit the sack.
Day 3 - Summit and out
We started moving with clear skies at 12:17 am, heading for cathedral gap. No other teams were near us at this point.
We made it up to the ingraham flat and the wind picked up a bit and some snow was lightly falling. From there we began navigating the cleaver with the rope coiled up in our hands. The route was littered with wands and we tried our best to navigate it based on the RMI wands which were reflective. Only at one point did we get about 40 feet off route, however that was quickly fixed. We entered two different snowy area on the cleaver before getting to the top.
The next interesting thing we found was a ladder crossing. It was not difficult but it was our first ladder crossing, ever! Quite thrilling. Our guide Vik belayed us across as a team finally caught up with us and became impatient (i'll admit, we were moving across this slowly!). Once across it was largely uneventful to the summit. The sun rose and we removed our headlamps, crossed a few more crevasses without incident and made it to the crater at 7:45 am.
We could not see anything from the summit other than a sea of clouds (which was still awesome!). We descended out with no problems and the clouds slowly cleared revealing fantastic views of little tahoma and the emmons glacier.
We made it back to Muir in almost exactly 13 hours, a decent time we were happy with. From there we napped, packed up and headed out. The glissading was outstanding!
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