Mike, Cori, and I had been slated to make a run up Candlelight Peak on Sunday, but some last minute tweaking took us back to the MR! I wasn't sure how far I'd get, having climbed Mt. Agassiz Saturday (TR later), but I was definitely motivated to hit it with Rick Graham, Bob, and the guys. So after a decent sleep, a few chocolate covered espresso beans, and a shot of Glenfiddich (thanks, Rick, for the housewarming gift!!), we hit the trail at 0515.
A lot changes in 3 weeks:
1)The snow bank below LBSL is gone. Trail is dry and clear and the waterfalls are running fast, strong, and yummi!
2) While the snow is still mostly viable on the slope up to Clyde Meadow, the traverse around the south end of the lake is postholey, even at 7:30-8 a.m.!!
3) The slabs below Clyde Meadow are a nice walk-up, but do watch your footing on the wet rock .
4) UBSL looked still frozen over, but I heard you can chop through easily.
5) The snow heading up from UBSL is again, mostly firm, and the heat wave from the weekend I think softened things up considerably. We were able to stay on top most of the time, but just headed high on the rock as much as we could.
6) The waterfall route was still pretty easily negotiated below Iceberg. However, the scree slope above it was a giant PITA, and I should have gone with the guys around the far side. I was able to kick in steps on the snow below it, but crampons would have been a nice idea.
7) The snow in the chute wasn't bad... don't mind the blood trail I left in my kicksteps! We were able to walk pretty well straight up the right side, although old boot track/footsteps were melting out and hard to see entirely.
8) The left side route we came up was cool, and the right looked pretty clear as well.
9) 72 degrees on the summit??? Are you freakin' kidding me???
10) Descent was a blast: we hit the snow slope just as it came into shadow, but wouldn't have wanted to be much later. I glissaded down... in shorts. My butt still hasn't fully thawed!
11) First burger post-Whitney summit this year. Hopefully many more to come!
Thanks to the guys for inviting me along for the ride. I had a blast!
Rest of the pics are here.
PS: The wagbag I shot pics of three weeks ago was still on the summit. So I borrowed garbage bags to haul it down, but Graham though it might tear, so he stowed it in his pack. BIG TIME KUDOS to him for carrying down someone else's crap .
PPS: Rick Lovett and I found another fire ring , this one just above the trail at LP Lake. I was too tired to dismantle it, but I'll be back to take it apart, unless someone beats me to it!
A few other images from the day:
Work it! Work it! You still don't get a peanut.
A little stuck:
My train as I kicked steps:
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