Mt. Washington

August 15, 1982

Eight climbers started out at the trail head in a dense fog. All the trees were wet and drippy. This was o.k. until we started up the climbers trail, then each bush represented a cold shower for the first few in the group. Up the ridge the fog made pinnacle finding difficult. Each gendarme looked like the main pinnacle. Finally we found it. Its huge gray hulk in the fog was indicative that this was the one. At last the saddle and the old familiar route up the groove where many bodies pressed against the rock had worn a much used route. Half way through belaying the group up the face, a couple of climbers in only jogging shorts and Nike running shoes asked if they could climb through. O.K. with us. They were a couple of “Iron men” from Portland. No climbing gear, no clothes. Would you believe they went from Big Lake to the summit of Mt. Washington in one hour nine minutes?

Anyway, our happy group assembled on the summit had time for food, photos and a couple of quick views to the east as the fog and clouds parted momentarily. Later, as we rappelled down, the fog cleared and we had a beautiful view of Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson. We could also see how much exposure there was on Mt. Washington. It’s been several years since I’ve climbed it and when the fog cleared, visibility was 2000 feet — straight down.

Later, at the Rustic Skillet, we reminded ourselves that we were fortunate that we only had fog and not rain or wind on the mountain. Happy Obsidian climbers were Heather Anderson, Ray Davis, Lee Hatch, Christine Ligneau, Ed Lovegren, Jerry Mohler, and leader Dick Moffitt; one nonmember: John Jacobsen.

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