fourth class climbing and descending. No rope needed; just a cool head and steady feet.
Long ago, in days of yore, the road was open all the way to the Downey Creek campground & trailhead. Mike Woodmansee, Tim Raschko, and I drove from Mount Vernon early Saturday morning and made it to a camp on Itswoot Ridge that evening. We set up the tent, and I broke out my stove, when Mike asked what I was doing.
I thought it was obvious and reasonable, but Mike was never reasonable when he had mountains under his feet. Groaning & whining, I loaded my day pack with glacier & rock gear, and we were on the summit of Spire just before sunset. We found our tent with the help of our flashlights.
The next morning was a bit crisp & gray, but we dragged our butts up Dome, then packed ourselves out to the car that afternoon.
One of Mike's favorite phrases when climbing was, "maximum use of daylight." Being his friend and climbing partner involved significant risk of turning that phrase to reality.
Nike had just introduced their lightweight Approach trail boots that year, and I wore them, while Mike & Tim wore normal leather mountaineering boots. That hike out was the only time I've ever outhiked Mike. The date I used here is a guess; I'll have to find my slides from the trip.
This was a great bonus to our Dome Peak trip. Some low class 5, but a lot of fun.
Great climb to a tiny summit. Made a new page for it!