Sep 17, 2008

Sisters trip

Emily finished her OSU cross-country running camp, and I finished my first week in our new office. She'll be red-shirting this year, and I'll be trying to figure out how to hang pictures on the wall.

I got in quite late, and we had an enjoyable breakfast with my folks before their big day at the temple. She drove while I slept. We didn't start running/hiking until after 11am. We knew we were missing a couple of the essentials (I left my good map and all but my back-up flashlight at home.) But this was as much about having an adventure together as it was about climbing. It had been three long weeks since I had flashbacks of dropping her off at the magnet school in inner-city St. Louis for her first day of kindergarden, hoping she'd get off at her bus-stop 7 hrs later.

We ran a bit at first, but not so much when it got steeper. We had to make a course correction to get onto the correct ridge. we sang some songs to pass the time, and made good time until right under the summit in the most dangerous region.

It was harder than I remembered, and I about got stuck. Emily was starting to make mental plans for how to get back on her own should I fall and break my neck, which would be funnier if it hadn't happened to other people in that vicinity before. So about that time we realized we were in the "false bowling alley." So we rappelled, happy to have brought climbing gear (note the helmet hair- we took them off for the pictures) and back-tracked a little to the significantly easier true bowling alley.

There's so much changing in Emily's life right now. I think she's a combination of excited and apprehensive. We've got a bit of a tradition of doing father's blessings at the start of a school year at the top of a mountain, so we did that on the top of North. It's a bit remote, and an effort to get there. It's the closest thing to a temple or the home, and we had it all to ourselves.

So after shedding a couple tears, by 5pm we were picking our way back down, this time staying on the South ridge. This involved a lot of loose rock sliding down with us and in our shoes. From the saddle we made good time to the top of middle sister. The weather was excellent, and the views are great. That's Washington, 3-fingered Jack, and Jefferson above my head.

We made it down the glacier (wishing on the steepest part that we had brought our ice-axes) before we only had moonlight. I found the climbers trail, but didn't worry when we lost track of it. We knew the direction we wanted, but unfortunately for Emily's ankles that meant bushwhacking on uneven terrain. When the vegetation got thicker, we got tired of that, and cut over to the trail we had come in on. The little flashlight was just enough that we were able to jog much of the way from there out. Hopefully Emily's ankles aren't permanently damaged- I wish I had thought of that in her blessing. I had to make some phone calls to coordinate young men's meetings for the next day, so I did that from the woods in wilderness in the dark. I can't get network coverage up high, but I could at 6500' and below. I guess it is odd to use a phone in the isolated wilderness at all.

Emily has now been to each site from Hood to Shasta that is > 10,000'.


Neil said...

The trip was AMAZING, I think you forgot to mention how we where wondering around for TWO HOURS, in the dark, looking for that trail. ;)


Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

Wonderful post, beautiful pictures. Sounds like the highlight was the prayer on top. Em's ankles still hurt but she hasn't slowed down.

Dr. Athay had me get a chest x-ray which was clear and then prescribed an antibiotic and if that doesn't work he'll change my BP med.

Em said...

Now you can tell which one of us is writing.

velvetelement said...

You two are amazing!