trip 1 = explore
trip 2 = conquer
trip 3 = enjoy...
Although we summited on our last trip, it was miserable running out of water. My pack was 24lbs and jj had 10lbs for a 3 day trip. For this trip I downsized to an 11oz REI FLASH 18, dirt cheap on sale for $24. With a piggyback 4qt, 2-qt bottles and my 3qt Camelbak bladder I was ready to fill up to 9qts. The next factor got 24lbs down to 13 with the same 3qts to start.
2 days instead of 3, up the "jj shortcut", summit, down the SE corner
We have a "last supper" ritual before these hikes as neither of us are backpackers. It works since the initial hike is walking down the SK ramp into the canyon. We stopped at BA creek and drank up a bit as the faucets were off. Up UFR and down into Upper Phantom. At the last good flow I pumped to capacity.
Feeling great I made it halfway up pitch 1 on the redwall standard route. I imagine I choked at the same point Steve felt the pressure with his 40lb backpack. It still amazes me he did it solo with all that weight. So off came the pack and out came the rope.
Humble Pie - Bite 1 - up the jj shortcut
We made decent time to the "jj shortcut". For weeks I was excited about going up. Apparently the dehydration on trip 2 gave me super powers. A slanted 6mm rope without gloves ( had to get that pack size down ) seemed ridiculously unsafe. The only good thing was jj wasn't liking it either so we made a quick change of plans. The southern spider leg intrigued both of us and had been planned for Autumn. No biggie, bite the bullet here and move on out to the Autumn plan.
Apparently the jj shortcut baffle destroyed me physically and mentally. The southern leg would have to wait for morning. Instead we opted to camp on the WSW leg. Which had nice soft ground to sleep. After 3 sleepless nights on the prior trips I actually slept an hour or two!
Nice start admiring and checking out the southern leg. For reference Isis is surrounded by 7 bays, between each is a wall jutting out like a spider leg. This one is special being nearly a half mile long.
Humble Pie - Bite 2 - SE Corner Exit
On May 14th I sent jj a PM titled "SE Longshot" based on some map work. Later we found others have completed it! Not sure I can translate what happened into words. Just know that had we summited the day before we would have been in possibly serious trouble.
The standard route is a 5 hour drudge. It just seemed best to swallow bite 2 of our humble pie and get out alive.
Super Reality Check
Shouldn't it be enough that we didn't get to summit, didn't conquer the SE corner and drudge through multiple obstacle courses back to SK. After consuming FIVE gallons of water I was under the impression I'd feel better than dehydrated. Typically I fare better than most in heat but oh brother, this was just horrible.
Hate it, hate it, hate it!
Okay I'm better now, let's go back...
( slightly longer hiatus, like summer though... )