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Author Topic: 7-28-12 Mt Daniel  (Read 2086 times)
Don Heath

Posts: 834

7-28-12 Mt Daniel
« on: 07/29/12, 10:27 PM »

     There were alot of people having fun on Mt Daniel Saturday.  And one of them had fun AND got his A** kicked. 
Conditions:  Continuous snow still from summit(s) to below Peggy's Pond.
Suncups, runnels, etc.: Sure, but the warm temps we had turned them to carveable corn mush that was a shade under Hero Corn
Approach: The couple of snow patches across the route to Peggy's Pond are melting fast, but one needed to be climbed up and around
Bugs: Only a nuisance - at the trail head, and at Squaw Lake, but a little breeze made them disappear
Road: 13 miles of Ugh! (or was it 113?)

     It was a father - son trip, and a torch passing, in many ways.  A few years, my son Ben began to develop his own passion for the mountains.  His day trips, and scrambles grew into small climbs and more recently, he amped up the level of challenge.  Now he's begun to embrace the work and sacrifice required to earn the kind of views and thrills, the sense of accomplishment and the peace that comes from a bigger trip.  It's very satisfying to see his toughness and strength grow.  He hasn't quite embraced the "earn your turns philosophy" but he's coming along.  We have a half finished split board in the garage, just waiting for him to develop a wee bit more interest.  Wink   And especially on this trip,  he's starting to to move into the role of taking care of me, something I can definitely get used to.   

This trip was his idea (well - I suggested the destination based on Mikerolfs TR), but he set the date, bought the food, and carried the lion's share of the gear.  The true gauge of his maturation, though came in the morning - he was up and at'em way before me, and had the stove going, water boiling and oats swelling before I even found the zipper of my warm (Yawn) sleeping bag.

He's stronger and faster than me, and has been for a few years, but now he waited for me when it was necessary, and set a pace that suited (huff - puff) me.  But when the summit (south) was in view - up he charged, leaving me in his wake.  He was nice enough to kick steps, but, and I'm not complaining, well, yes I am, they were too big for me.  So now the roles are reversing, and the irony is not lost on me that I was now following in his footsteps, and not finding it easy.  So it was that Ben made the summit with Anna the mountain dog, enjoyed the views and revelled in the sense of accomplishment.  And I stopped a couple hundred feet below, literally weighing the skis causing the pack straps to bite into my shoulders, not for the last time.  I mentally weighed my fatigue against the desire to rip down hill spraying the great corn, and the summit suddenly didn't matter.  Am I getting old or what?

As Ben blasted down past me whooping it up on his butt at about 15 or 20 mph, I began to question carrying my skies all that way.  But as I coasted on ahead of him, lower down on the basin, and bottomed out below Peggy's, as the last snow petered out, I was glad I had them on my feet.  The hike back to camp was painful, but the trip back down to the parking lot turned me into a zombie.  Why is it the last two miles feel like five?  I was cursing the skis and boots, not for the last time.  But Ben had flown down the trail ahead of me, carrying the whole tent, the stove, my sleeping bg, and all the remaining food.  And when I finally hit the bridge, there he was cooling the beer in the river for me.  Now that's what I call a good climbing partner!  With him driving that blasted 13 miles of moon craters, and me guzzling 3 of the chilled beers, life as the old man was beginning to feel pretty good.


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The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.

Posts: 96

Re: 7-28-12 Mt Daniel
« Reply #1 on: 07/30/12, 05:55 AM »

Enjoyed this post, as CSN&Y would say, "Teach the children well."
Cheers to you both, I am now stepping in my grandsons steps.

"rich has nothing to do with money."
Dr. Snow

Posts: 910

Re: 7-28-12 Mt Daniel
« Reply #2 on: 07/30/12, 06:11 AM »

I remember the first time I kicked steps in front of my dad.  He still talks fondly (and sadly) of that transition.  A rite of passage that has lasting effect.  Glad to hear the skiing is still good up there.  Looked like maybe the skis you are carrying are S7's?  No wonder Ben was faster, those are heavy!
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