First time and I'm already addicted
There were two goals for this trip: complete the mother lode and photo-trip-documentation workshop. Any time I commented that the scenery was interesting, out came the pink pack camera and Janelle demanding I take a picture of it. Then me whining "do I have to?" followed by a stern YES from her.
And, who'da thought, in spite of the average light and unremarkable compositions, I haven't been able to stop myself from constantly looking through the pictures since we uploaded them to my computer. Maybe taking photos for the sake of memories holds merit after all
We started at 7:40AM and didn't finish until around 7:00PM. The main issue, as seems to be the case most of the time, was the route from the 3-2 saddle to peak 2. From the saddle we lost an additional few hundred feet down a ravine on the east side until we saw some decent looking passes on a ridge to the north (note: the ridge on the south side of the ravine may make for much easier travel then the ravine itself. The ridge may also give a better vantage point for spotting a route up peak 2). Everything from this point until the final climb up peak 2 kind of blurs together... We crossed several canyons, thrashed through tons of bush, and did some really sketchy (but super fun [I thought]) short climbs. Eventually we figured we had traveled far enough north to avoid the false peaks south of peak 2 and we started the climb up the east face. This involved climbing some more sketchy rock slabs. Finally we reached the top... Only to find out we had overshot the peak!
A ten minute backtrack along the ridge and we were on peak two.
Peak 2 down to the saddle involved some SUPER fun downclimbs and tiptoeing across exposed ledges, every second of which I loved. The climb back up Brown's was fun and easy, and the chute down to Brown's saddle was slow-going (for me, at least) because of the daylight situation. A relaxing dark hike sans-headlamp (although we did have two, thanks Janelle for covering me since I forgot mine) was a nice conclusion to the adventure.
FR143 seemed to go on forever, as always, and while Janelle opted for Frosted Mini Wheats and beer for a post-adventure dinner, I fortunately was able to talk her into something with a bit more substance (Chipotle).
Definitely hike of the year for me. Great adventure and great company. Can't wait to go back!