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onetoole

Ingraham Indirect - 2/9/03

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A long story cut short because my oxygen-deprived brain isn't helping:

A team of four dashing young people started out at 1am on Sunday after steeping in human fumes all night at the Muir hut. There were lots more dashing people starting out at that time, but by the time they hit the Ingraham Glacier, unpleasant winds made most turn around. We got to the snow ridge just above the DC, and there my clever friends decided they'd had enough of the darkness, uncertainty and cold. I dutifully complied and trudged on down, only to run into Huey and Dewey, who let me jump on their rope.

We first tried to do Ingraham Direct. While we were working up the steep slope that gets you from the glacier onto the upper mountain and kicking loose little slabs, an airplace roared overhead and we got the hell out of that dangerous place. We went back up to the spot above the DC where I had first turned around. By now there was some daylight, and we could see a good line trending east. At 12,500' the wind had gotten pretty bad, but the wind-packed sastrugi (profigliano!) made for good hiking. It felt like a true Alaskan/Arctic experience. The wind blew us back toward the South side of the upper mountain, and we were pretty exhausted when the crater rim finally showed up at the horizon. The last 300 feet of elevation win the prize for ridiculousness: the wind was gusting at 60mph minimum, forcing us down on our hands and knees. I collapsed every twenty feet or so, panted, laughed madly, and carried on. We were pretty glad to reach the crater rim, and didn't feel like crossing the mad cauldron of a crater just to go sign the register.

It took 9 (!) hours to get up, and 3 1/2 to get down to Muir. Other than the wind, conditions were splendid with firm snow and minimal crevasse problems. It seemed like we were the only ones that made it on the weekend - or were we?

 

 

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I dutifully complied and trudged on down, only to run into Huey and Dewey, who let me jump on their rope.

 

Wow, that was generous of them. Did you take your crampons off first? Too bad you missed the bigdrink.gif in the parking lot. Troubleski is on his way back to smileysex5.gif his new friend. rolleyes.gif

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I dutifully complied and trudged on down, only to run into Huey and Dewey, who let me jump on their rope.

 

Wow, that was generous of them. Did you take your crampons off first?

 

heh, heh. thanks for the tr. it's always nice to hear about people *almost* making it to the summit register! wink.gif

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anyone know how the crevasse situation might be for an unroped climber? is it really well covered up?

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"anyone know how the crevasse situation might be for an unroped climber? is it really well covered up?"

 

Careless Ev thinks roping up is for sissies...

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You have to jump two or three crevasses less than about two feet across. The snow is very hard. We met a solo guy named Dave and he chose to join us. Careless_Ev, is that you Dave?

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A question that comes to mind is why did you all start so early? In the winter when you have to do your own route finding, it is a lot easier if you can see where you are going. The only reason people start so early in the summer is to avoid falling through snow bridges softened by the sun. In winter it doesn't really warm up that much in the day, so there isn't as much reason to climb in darkness. If you're talking about Gib Ledges, you aren't coming down that way anyway, so you don't care, as long as you get past the rockfall danger while it's still cold.

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It was dumb to start so early. Just an automatic reflex. I'd recommend leaving around 4 so that you get to the Ingraham ice fall when it gets light.

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I know how it is. You're in that hut and turn in early. Then you wake up at midnight and look at your watch and then again at 1 am. You are all hyped up and ready to go my friend. Finally, you say, "screw it, let's get out of here", at 2 am. It's a long, long night.

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