12.21.2006

Mt. Madison Is Trying To Kill Us

tMail and I have been in the shit and back. holy freakin' christallmighty, and I mean that in the best way possible.

So, we decided to hit Madison today, and if possible Adams ... and if things were REALLY good, Jefferson. We knew that wasn't likely, but that was the plan, including 5 or so bail-out points. Anyway, the forecast was for high winds, pretty cool temps and clear skies.
So we headed up Valley Way to the hut, hit the summit of Madison, back down and everything is cool. But ....

Holy fucking shit. That was the most CRAZY experience I have ever had in my life. The wind was ROARING at least 80mph, gusting higher. See the attached snapshot from the Mt. Washington Observatory. The vertical white lines are 30min apart. We were at the hut at about 11am and back from the summit by 12:30. That was right at the peak wind speeds. You all know how rocky those summits are. We were getting banged around, thrown against boulders and at times, crawling on our hands and knees just to keep from getting thrown. Once I got tipped backward, and as I stepped backward to catch myself, the momentum was enough to almost send me into space. We quickly mastered the technique of 4-wheeling like little spiders, and dropping fast when the gusts threatened to pick you up and smash you against a rock. It was a goddamn unrelenting freight train. At one point, I pulled myself headfirst over a little ledge into a hollow that was funneling enormous winds. tMail pulled himself in behind me. We tried to communicate by pressing our heads together and screaming but it was nearly impossible to hear. We stowed our poles in a hole in some rocks and for a few seconds just sat there, almost pinned to the rocks. I remember thinking "holy fucking shit, I'm not sure I can make any forward motion...". It was like being caught in a fast river current, holding onto a tree-trunk and knowing that if you let go, you're fucked. That was so cool.

As tMail put it, if it weren't for the fact that our goggles were wet and/or frozen, it would've been perfect.
Oh yeh, and I'm all banged up. And we didn't bother w/ Adams - but no spray bottles for us. That mountain tried to kill us. Pics to be posted later tonight.

2 comments:

  1. Free Tip: Put an anchor in your ass and eat some lead prior to ascending in weather like that...

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  2. No fucking shit. We joked about having anchors. After we got down we both admitted that near the summit we independantly realized we should've left our packs down at the hut. They increased out wind profile significantly (but not really weight because we were wearing almost everything in our packs).

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