Monday, July 14, 2008

Is it still 2008?

This is the West Face of Donaldson Peak, 12023 ft. We turned back about 3/4
of the way up the snow in the picture. As a side note for scale the trees in
the foreground are about 2 miles nearer the camera than the snow is.

Boy these last few months have been sooooo busy. I feel like there are not enough hours in the day, I can go and go from 6am to 8pm and still not get everything done. I recently moved the Laboratory to a new location it took about a week and things are still finding their places. Work has been steady and I am growing the business through more accounts and higher volume. That all takes a lot of time, and I am sure it will pay off in the long run, but I am still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. ( I hope it is not a train)
We had an exciting week, some good things and some not so good. Lachlan had a high fever for 3 days and then his soft spot on the top of his head began to swell. We ran him to the emergency room late Wednesday night and had him checked out, they drew his blood and looked him over and gave him some fever reducer. He turned out to be fine, but I was pretty worked up over the whole thing. What really had me worried was that some of his symptoms were the same as the symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis which is very serious and very dangerous. We gave him a blessing and I believe there was more than one person praying for him that night, and we were all blessed, everything turned out fine.
Dan and I went mountain climbing over the weekend back to the good old Lost River Range in northeastern Idaho. I have climbed over there many times and we were going to climb two mountains I have already climbed a few years ago. Dan needed to climb these to finish up the 12,000 footers in Idaho, so I thought I would tag along and show him the route. We left on Thursday and hiked in about 3 miles. The mountains are really rough and we had a hard time finding a spot big enough for us to camp on. We finally found small ledge big enough for both of our bivy sacks and a small fire. We pilled rocks on the down hill side so we wouldn't role off and on the up hill side was the fire pit and a thorn bush. Dan got the fire pit and I got the thorn bush and Dan's feet in my face all night. I took my summer sleeping bag that is rated down to 30 F, it was 98 F when we left Boise so it thought that would be warm enough, surprise I was wrong. I was up most of the night shivering and checking my watch every half our to see how long till the sun would come up. It finally came up about 6am , but the temperature didn't warm up until about 10am.This is Donaldson's East Face Taken from neighboring
Mt. Breitenbach. We climbed the west face after
traversing just left of the east face in this picture.

We left camp and started to make our way up the mountain, It was a very long hike and covered in loose rock. In some places you slide backward with ever step you take. We were making jokes about walking up a downward escalator. That seemed funny for about 2 seconds. I really began questioning why I climb mountains. I think that I am more fond of the mountain after I have been to the top and then am sitting back at home in a warm tub watching 7 brides for seven brothers and eating a Big Mac. Ahh the simple things in life.
We turned around about 200' shy of the summit. We had been hiking hard all day long and had reached the crux of the climb. It is at the top of the mountain and is a thousand feet of small ledges and broken towers of rock. The slope is very steep and a fall over one of the cliffs would most likely send you to the daisy fields. We had ascended most of the wall with out incident. Dan had one little bout with some loose rocks, but we were both very aware of the potential danger of the slope, and we were moving cautiously. I climbed up this little section of stable rock and looked down at Dan to see how he was fairing. He was sitting down and he just said " I am done". I had climbed this route before and so I knew that we were less than a half an hour from the top. I was half tempted to try to persuade Dan up the rest of the face, but he said "I got a feeling I need to go down" I feel like you should always listen to those feelings. So I said "OK" and down climbed to him and we started back down. Nothing of importance happened on the way back down and we arrived safe at the car 4 hours later. What did happen that I think was important was that Dan had the courage to speak up when he got that feeling, and that we fallowed it. I don't know if something bad would have happened if we kept climbing and quite frankly I am glad I didn't have to find out.