WELCOME TO DUSKPATROL!

This site was created as a journal about adventure in the mountains, on the bike, in the ocean and enjoying the great outdoors. From time to time I will post these experiences so others may learn more about them and hopefully enjoy them as well.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to drop me a line to make suggestions!

2009-05-17

Mission accomplished!

Well, we started out later than planned but still early. The alarm woke us up at 1:40 a.m. and after about an hour of stumbling around in the dark we headed for the summit at 2:50.

There where a couple of other groups that headed out before us. One was a guided group of 9 people, split up into two, and the other was a solo person. Buck and I caught everyone at the first steep wall where the slope kicked up to around to 55-60 degrees. We passed everyone, then played tag with the leading guided group all the way to the West Face ridge.

One thing I noted, that was a lesson learned, was that the guides stopped their group every hour on the dot for a 5 minute rest. During this time they strongly encouraged everyone to eat and drink to keep the body going. Buck and I did not do this, as we stopped every 2 hours, but probably should have, as we found out later.

As we climbed to around 11,000 feet the snow hardened up a lot and the crampons made the going easier. Still, the last 700 feet to the top of the west face appeared to take forever. But the sun was coming up, and the we witnessed an amazing show on the horizon, as Shasat cast its shadow on the SKY, leaving a dark triangle at the edge of the earth, where everything else was deep blue, and red.

None-the less, we made it to the top of the west face at 8:30, which put the summit in reach by our turn around time of 10:30 due to avalanche danger with the coming warm day. Buck and I quickly walked over to the base of "Misery Hill" which is aptly named and hit the top by 9:40. At this point each of us did not feel good at all. I felt like I had a nagging hangover, cotton mouth, easily exhausted, and energy dropping fast. every time I tried to put liquids or food into my system, my stomach almost sent them back up.

Th real depressing thing about Misery Hill, is when you get to the top, you think you are there, only to realize you need to go DOWN, then up another 200 feet to the true summit. Buck decided he was done, and wanted to rest, while I went for the summit, getting there at around 10:20. Taking about 10 minutes to enjoy the first part of the victory before heading down at 10:30 sharp.

We quickly back tracked to the top of the ridge, waited a little for the sun to soften the slopes below, then put our skis on a went down 4,000 vertical feet of consistent black diamond run. Another lesson learned, is plan to summit and ski down on a Saturday, as the tracks from the day before had rutted up the slope a bit. It was still a great ski, and spring corn. This is truly an epic descent.

Once back at our camp, we packed up for the final ski out to 6,900, which means the total descent for the day was around 7,500 feet!

What a trip, would do it again!

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