Friday, May 23, 2014

Mt. Huntington

Three books went down in 5 days while waiting for "perfect" weather.  I finished The Kite Runner, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, and a book called Adrift which was about a fella spending 46 days in a raft drifting across the Atlantic after his sail boat sank on a solo east to west crossing.

Mr. Peabody and I flew into the range and landed on the Tokositna (Tok) on Sunday, the same day we arrived in Talkeetna.  TAT got us up and out of town in the later afternoon, landing on the glacier as my friend Nick Buda was heading home.  Nick and his partner, Bryce climbed the Harvard route a day or two before to the top.  Very cool.

Our goal was to climb the West Face Couloir on Mt. Huntington. With our myopic view of the week, we let go of a small weather window to do something(but not big enough for the goal), something that two two East coasters took advantage of by getting most of the way up the first bit of the Colton-Leech and then coming back down.

Mr. Peabody did a lot of skiing, I did a lot of reading and resting from the flu the week before.  I was a super fun week of falling asleep with layers of clothes on under all the covers shivering, only to wake up 4 hrs later sweating so much it's disgusting.  Needless to say, I washed all my bedding that week...

The group that was there, 6 other people, no more or no less from Sunday when we flew in until the next flight in on Friday were a good bunch.  2 dudes, one from AK and one from the Pacific NW, 2 ladies one from SLC and one from Idaho and the other to fellas from NY.  Small amounts of conversations throughout each day, packing in the run way one afternoon and general glacier living in AK.  Weather, weather and other climbs dominated the conversation, as well as food.  What ya are having for dinner was always interesting.

The weather forecast (via sat phones that the ladies had) was good for Friday, so we packed our kit and got up early.  To of the other teams were also heading out that am, the ladies for the Colton-Leech and the dudes for the Harvard route.  They packed bivy gear, we did not.

Leaving the tent at 3am, we followed out tracks up to the upper bench and over the 2ed 'shrund that we put in the day before.  We cramponed up perfect conditions to the base of the route, which was climbed in 14 hrs RT, super fun and then flew out on Sunday to catch a Monday flight south.  The End ;)



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