Mt. Washington (S.E. Spur)

July 30, 1999

If the goal of a successful trip is to have a good route on a day with-glorious weather and assemble a group of fun-loving and talented climbers, then success was met on the south-east spur of Mt. Washington. Six climbers met at the Pacific Crest trailhead at 8:00 the evening before the climb to sort gear and grab some sleep before the 4:00 a.m. wake-up call. Traveling south on the Crest trail, then over the North Ridge and around the east side of Washington brought us to the start of our climb. The last couple of miles of the approach was over snow and ice axes felt very reassuring on the steeper slopes. By 8:30 three rope teams were beginning the first of ten long rock pitches with moves rated up to 5.5. Each team moved at its own pace and picked the moves that seemed best for the lead climber on each pitch. The first team reached the summit at 4:30 p.m. There was plenty of time for a summit snooze before team two arrived at 6:30 and the final climbers at 7:30. All had smiles, a combination of exhilaration for the route and relief that it was over. The descent was down the North Ridge with a single rappel and a long, fast glissade off the west side. After finding the Crest trail in near darkness, the group ended the trip back at the trailhead at 10:30 p.m. Teams were Shawn Lockery & David Stucky, Doug Nelson & John Pegg, and Karl Kriegh & Harold Thompson (leader).

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