Mt. Washington

July 21, 1991

Nine a.m. on a beautiful sunny mid-summer morning found this energetic Obsidian crew pacing southwards on the PCNST looking for the rock cairns that indicate the side trip to Mount Washington's north ridge. Just prior to finding these cairns, a muscular and tanned climber-type person raced past us heading northward. He hiked using ski poles and as his dust cloud passed by he announced that he was an Outward Bound instructor going out to get help for a student of his who was on the south ridge with a broken leg. The day for the Obsidian party went by perfectly without event. The belay up the first steep pitch of the summit pinnacle was streamlined and quick. All three ropes on board were used to set up a fixed line and the climbers prussicked up to the summit at their own pace. Light winds enhanced the perfect Cascades summer day and provided a wonderful atmosphere for a long lunch at the summit. By the time the party was off the pinnacle and the gear packed it was approaching evening. Night presented itself in a hurry and the party escaped the treacherous sun-away rocks of the scree run down the west side of the mountain just in time. By the time we reached the burned out meadow area at the western base of Mount Washington it was night. The party sat along the trail for the longest time and stared at the full moon, which was providing a compelling back light to the hundreds of snags in the area. We could have sat there for hours pondering the peaceful beauty of the surroundings but Monday waited only a few hours away! As we reached the PCNST and headed north towards the cars we passed a long string of Outward Bound students. Several were litter attendants, one was in the sled-type litter (with a broken leg) and several were posed like a mule team on a long thick rope tugging and dragging the litter along. All I can say is that it was interesting. Our trip out to the cars in the dark was warm and effortless. This perfect climb by a party of Obsidians (who had a lot in common and who never ran out of various colorful jokes and conversation), consisted of Royal Murdock, Jeremy Adams, Chris Stevens, Tim Cook and Ken Ball, leader.

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