20070407 The Real Story

G-$$$ and the Puppet Master made a masterful attack on the overnight in the northern Presi's. g-$$$'s account:

Real Men Do Overnights:
..and that we are not.
First we got delayed because we had to aid in the rescue of 4 Canadians who thought they were on Mt Everest. Then the PM kept chasing me around the Madison Hut trying to hide his "Easter Eggs" in my "Chocolate" But the last straw was when one of the folks we met reminded us that the AMC would not recognize our Traverse because it fell outside of calendar winter, so we decided to protest and spend Easter with our families......

But so many lessons learned today......
Glissades don't go well with 50 lb packs and sleeping pads wider than your ass (even mine) dragging beneath you
50 lbs packs makes you strong but putting them down at stops and lifting them back up is no fun.
climbing with a 50lb pack is no joke, especially when you know where you are on the trail and it's not where you want to be.
breaking trail through knee deep snow with 50 lb packs is even less a joke.
When they say you should be fit (mentally and physically) to do a Winter Traverse, pay attention
A two-day traverse is a dream......a one-day...hah...yeah right!
Canadians must celebrate Easter by climbing and camping on Madison.
Air Line is a cool trail...even with a 50 lb pack.
And #1 Lesson to be Learned.....courtesy of the wisdon of the PM....Aborted Presi Traverses are like really bad sex...you don't really enjoy yourself and all you want is to just get over with it.

And that is the lesson for today!

Happy Easter!
As for tMail and me? Well, our plan for a grand loop (up Castle Ridge, down Lowe's Path) got trumped by the weather but as tMail put it: "I learned today that................um........um......ALOT." The mountain spirits were having fun, but clearly the devil lives in Edmand's Col. I also have to add that tMail and I got to experience almost everything one could in the northern Presi's, except wind. Without going into the long, gory details at this point, here is a list of all the experiences I can think of that characterize yesterday's 11 hour trek:

snow, posthole, powder
ascend, powder, posthole
climb, sweat, gear
, change
rock, crevice, danger, axe
low visibility, disorientation, compass, cairn, no-cairn
decision-making, retrace-route, time
endurance, push, reserves, sweat, food
crampon, rock, pole, (honorary mention: kneecap)
descent, glissade, boot ski

Pics will be posted at some point, maybe even a youtube movie. Today's a family day, keep the swelling down in my kneecap, shovel snow, etc.


  1. so on the way home last night and with the driving back and forth from RI I was trying to think about what it was like on Edmand's Col. I remember at one point MZ was looking around for a anything that looked like some kind of trail and I was kind of just standing there and did a 360 and it was so weird because not matter what direction I looked it was the complete unknown. the col had surrounded us and showed us not direction to go. it was like i was standing there and everything was spinning around me...

    in thinking about all the decisions we made i think that we were both 110% on the same page we communicated well knew what had to be done and accepted it.

  2. That's a great description. I took a look at the map and I'm thrilled to say we were right where we suspected - several hundred yards above the gulfside trail and if we continued on through that horrible tangle we would've hit it as it rose up to the ridge. However at the first cairn we would've encountered, as we suspected, we wouldn't have know which of the side trails we were on and the one thing we didn't want was to end up fucking around and possibly getting stuck on Israel Ridge. We called it exactly, even if it was Plan D. That's why we have them. I lay in bed this morning retracing all those moments in the col. We were in the shit. That was so great.