My wife suggested we get out of town for her days off. I asked her what she had in mind and she told me going up Thursday night after work camping and doing Humphreys on Friday. I had to check to see if she was feeling ok. She is not a big fan of the cold or altitude. I got the forecast from Mountain-forecast and let her know that it would be below 32 at camp and 18 on the summit. We then received a text picture from a coworker on Thursday from the summit wearing goggles and a face mask with almost no visibility which made her a little nervous.
Drove up Thursday had dinner made a campfire and set up the tent. I knew it was cold 'cause Muesli's water dish was frozen within an hour. I checked my watch in the middle of the night and it said 25 degrees in the tent
It also said the date was 09/15/03? Put it on and warmed it up and reset it. Guess the watch or the battery doesn't like freezing temps. Woke up to a cool clear cloudless day.
The gameplan was hiking by 8am, but the cold made it difficult to get my better half moving. After breakfast my wife decided she needed some caffeinated courage and warmth to thaw from the cold night so we drove down the mountain to Late for the Train. Fireman's Mocha is the best mocha ever!
Headed back up the mountain and started the hike 11 am. At this point, I resigned myself to a nice day hike with Sarrah and Muesli. I pretty much resigned myself to trying to make it to the summit some other time. Maybe we would go check out the Bomber site which is on my list of places to see.
My wife had previously attempted this hike and made it as far as the Saddle. There she was diagnosed with altitude sickness by a Dr. who happened to be there and encouraged her to descend. She probably didn't need a dr. diagnosis since she had been throwing up and blacking out for the previous hour before reaching the saddle. I myself have never been on this hike.
It was easy to follow and the views once out of the trees were spectacular. We met a group at the saddle and took a break for lunch. Sarrah was starting to feel the effects of the altitude, but wanted to push on.
Sarrah made it to 12,200+ and the final false summit
. I was proud of her, but she was disappointed. We ran into a guy who had turned around short of the summit stating he needed crampons. Feeling sick Sarrah opted to start heading down at this point. I agreed to catch up with her and headed to the summit with Muesli. It took about 10 minutes from the last false summit to the final push to the top. I rolled down the pant legs and put on a jacket. My toes really only were cold during the push to the top and on the way down from the summit. It was really exposed, the winds had picked up, and the FF were wet from mud and slush on the sun exposed sections below the saddle. There were two sections on the small saddle from the last false peak to the summit that were ridiculously slick smooth ice. I took great care to get past these on the way up and opted to come down a little higher on the rocks for footing which seemed to be the safer route and had been used recently. We caught up to Sarrah before the last false summit before the saddle. She didn't start feeling better until we were about a thousand feet below the saddle. We made great time down albeit mostly by headlamp and we were in the parking lot before 7pm.
We enjoyed the solitude of being the only ones on the mountain on the way down. Sarrah talked about her next attempt and seems determined to get to the top. I know she will next time.
Muesli did excellent and had no difficulty with altitude, cold, or paws and added another peak to his list.
There is nothing like sharing the outdoors with family!