perfect day on a totally sweet mountain
*my first trip report.
SP member tatwood announced he was going up white baldy; i pm'ed him letting him know i wanted to go but was nervous - he gave me some advice and i decided to do it, fully planning to bail part-way through if i needed to.
I showed up at White Pine trailhead in Little Cottonwood at 5am, Travis was there with Ammon Hatch, another SP member. I immediately felt unprepared - i was wearing blue jeans and some boots while they were decked out with gaiters, etc.
We started out at a quick pace. a couple miles into it they noticed that i brought snowshoes, i guess someone posted on SP that we didn't need them; i was too nervous in the parking lot to even assess the situation. not a huge deal, but again i was feeling out of place.
The entire time i was looking back at the trail, trying to memorize our path in case i needed to bail and hike back out alone. Looking back across LCC, Tanner's gulch came into view; Travis and Ammon were talking about attempts, etc in there, which made me even more nervous because i wouldnt be caught dead in there.
so far so good
We rested once or twice up to the lake. I was surprised that i lasted this long. I was actually feeling great, tired but ready to keep going forward. There were some skiers camped at the lake, and the sun was rising on the south wall of that cirque, right on some fresh turns that they must've made the day before. so sweet.
We hiked around the lake up the first little ridge. it was here that we put on our crampons. as we're putting them on, we see these three dudes in SHORTS hauling ass up the bowl towards us. it was 3 SP dudes: the guy who hiked Lone Peak 100x(grizz), the guy who got caught in an avalanche on the beatout divide last year(joseph bullough), and another dude, i didn't get his name. they were out for revenge
on the beatout.
From this point in the hike you can see the ridgeline, and the approach up to the ridge. I was definitely feeling better than at the start of the hike, but i was still ready to bail at any moment if i needed to. i decided to just set my sights on the ridge and see how i was feeling once i got there.
Ammon getting his crampons on just above the lake. the summit is the highest point on the left; we hiked up to the low point on the right edge of the pic and followed the ridge up. we glissaded down directly below the summit, just to the right of those big cliffs.
we made it up to the ridge. at this point ammon broke ahead. that dude is one fast kid. he broke trail almost the whole way. I think Travis was feeling bad a little for me, he stayed back a little and kept checking on me.
Getting up on that ridge is SO AMAZING! so so beautiful.
From here it was mixed rock and ice, kind of shimmying up and over boulders, exposed on parts, but nothing too crazy. it was a lot of work though, and i really started to get behind. at this point i mentally committed to the route. the ridge was definitely a low point, but i just decided to take it slow and steady.
(BTW either the pfeifferhorn is the easiest hike ever or the 3 SPers we passed are super fast because at this point i could see them on the summit)
the ridge took FOREVER! i think i was on that ridge longer than the whole rest of the hike. my crampons kept coming off which sucked. the view was insane though. i seriously can't believe how rad the wasatch range is.
Travis kept yelling down to me, checking on me. i came up on the top where it flattens out at the first false summit, and travis and ammon were both sitting there. Ammon had already summited and Travis was waiting for me to summit.
Travis and Ammon sitting at the false summit enjoying the view.
Let me tell you, the false summit is the best part of the whole hike: the hard part's over, you're basically at the top, and you have views all around that are incredible. i caught my breath and tried to catch up with them as they went for the summit. Ammon's eyes were bothering him so he decided to just bail down to the trees where he could get in some shade. Travis and I finished the climb and got to the summit. i haven't been that happy in a long time.
pano from the summit
travis and i followed ammons tracks down off the ridge onto the north face just below us and glissaded the hell out of that mountain. so sweet. the rest of the hike down was tiring and long but i was so stoked that i made it.
travis getting his glissade on
I was so happy to have made it up. getting up there was a huge personal victory for me at this time in my life. travis and ammon were awesome and i couldn't have done it without them. Travis was telling me that this same climb was one of his first here in the wasatch and how he could see so much progress from then until now. It made me excited to think about doing this hike next year and feeling more prepared and feeling less tired.
This was a perfect day in the mountains for me. Hopefully this is the first of many awesome trips i take in the wasatch.
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