Biting off more than we can chew

Gary Fallesen
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Biting off more than we can chew

By Keith Schultz
Chapter coordinator

There were no volunteers for Mount Daniel so Trevor Zahn and I went up the Tooth in scorching heat on Aug. 16.

Trevor is a friend of mine from church so we talked about our church and caught up on each others' trials and successes. It was a quick hike up the trail past Source Lake and then up the talus to the base. I led the first two pitches and Trevor led the third pitch, which was his first lead. Then we baked on the summit for awhile.

Our plan was to climb the sawtooth ridge between the Tooth and Chair Peak, but the weather was just too hot. We down-climbed the north ridge of the Tooth with one rappel near the bottom. From there, we dropped a couple hundred feet to a small pond at the base of a small snowfield and relaxed in the cool, scummy water for half an hour. By then the temperature was 92. We hung out until 5 and rehydrated. The temp dropped to 77 so we set out around Hemlock Peak and summited Bryant. We had hoped to down-climb the ridge, but it was a little too steep. So we got down on existing rap slings in four 30-meter rappels traversing north as we descended. That put us right below a pass over to Source basin, which is where we had come from. We got to the notch right at dark and descended a steep grassy gully with headlamps. We got to a high bench with water as the full moon rose through the haze of a small fire near Mount Stuart. There we bivied on heather with a large contingent of mosquitoes.

We discussed why God created mosquitoes and could come up with no logical reason. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

I have been battling tendonitis in my right knee and tweaked it on the dark descent. My knee was still sore in the morning so instead of climbing Chair Peak we bailed to home.

Great fun!
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