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Boeing Alpine Club (Boealps) Intermediate Climbing Course (ICC)
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What a pleasant surprise this past weekend turned out to be. The forecast for weather and conditions made it look to be a classic Alpine 1 dud. Instead, conditions and weather played out to be nearly perfect for us. We had scaled back our objective, but once we got to the trail head we decided that even though the current conditions might be suckering us that we would reinstate Mount Temple as our primary objective. I called Larry to inform him of our decision and we were off.
We hiked up the Snow Creek trail to Nada Lake. We left the trail immediately after crossing Nada Creek and essentially followed the creek to Tamarack Meadows where we made camp on the snow.
The next morning we worked our way to the upper bench above the meadows, putting our crampons on mid-route. I suspect that having the snow cover generally worked on our favor. We continued to the base of the climb, worked our way up the snow gully to just below the notch west of the summit. The rock climb from this point is barely one pitch.
We completed the climb in two short pitches, Kristie leading the first pitch on hers and my rope. The crux move (stiff 5.6) was just past her anchor, a heady move with no pro in sight save a skanky ancient 1/4" bolt that you are so happy for that it makes you want to weep!
The summit is big and flat and the air was still and comfortable. We spent a good bit of time there taking pictures and cleaning up the rat's nest rappel anchor. Two single rope rappels got us back to the notch where we threw a double rope rappel down the upper and steepest section of the snow gully.
The one minor incident that we had was pulling the rope from this rappel. I had forgotten to check that the rope strand that we pulled was on the underside of the rappel slings. Apparently, it wasn't and the tape at the end of the rope got kinked under the slings and jammed. We tried flinging the rope such that it would shift enough to free it and I believe that is what ended up working.
From there it was some careful step kicking without crampons down the now softer snow for a ways. Then, some glissading and walking, often breaking through the snow, back to camp. It was back at camp that we realized there was one major event in progress. We had gotten hints of it on the trail and at Nada Lake the day before, but felt that we had left it behind at the lake. When we got back to our high camp we realized that it was there as well - tick season in full swing! Once we realized this it seemed they were everywhere, three at the nape of Kristie's neck, crawling on my undershirt, on my neck, on Brian's neck, all over Morten's gaiters! They really seemed to be attracted to Kristie; it seemed like every time I looked her way I saw one crawling on her. All the more reason to get the hell out of there, trail head fever burning, Gustov's or Bust!
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last modified: 27jun08