Hitting the 3rd week of Movember and my ‘stache is taking on it’s own personality, My competitive nature shines through as if I am actually training to win the best mo’ in December when my friends get together check out each others ‘stache.
A few days ago, I had the pleasure to spend a few days on Mt Baker, aka Kulshan in November with Sara Hunter prepping for a climb on Cotopaxi in January. Our timing coordinated nicely with 3 feet of new snow that added 2 miles to the approach and some extra caloric boost to our hike in. After breaking trail for 4 1/2 hours, we camped at the historic Kulshan cabin site where Fred Beckey started his first ascent of the North Ridge many years ago. We hunkered down to a long, cold night with a quick skills session followed by Indian food and chocolate to put us to bed with full stomachs.
At sunrise, we enjoyed eggs, sausage and hash browns with fresh brewed coffee to warm ourselves up for the hike to the Coleman Glacier through thigh deep snow. 2 hours later we made it to Survey Rock and headed down to the ice to get our crampons dirty and hit something solid with our axes. This was harder then it sounds as 3+ feet of snow separated us from the glacier and all the visible blue was overhung ice.
Two hours later, we stomped some ice into enough cubes for a few cocktails and made good progress for Cotopaxi with Field Touring Alpine’s Ecuador January trip. Sara revealed to me her hometown is in Maine and she loves cyclocross which made this overnight winter experience seem tropical in face of 5″ of new snow overnight with temps in the teens. After breaking trail for a total 6 hours in 2 days, we roped up, self arrested and climbed enough ice to strike fear into Cotopaxi, good luck in January Sara!