We’re on Mt. Whitney, after a successful summit, on our way down. (laugh) Pete just self-arrested glacading down a snow field!!
Me: all right pete, first self arrest!
Pete: Was it stylin?
Me: it was, it looked almost reflexive!
Pete: I was ready for it.
Me: and I recorded it, I was going to get the sound of you glacading up to me, and instead I got the sound of your first self-arrest.
The snow field is not that steep, or that long, so
Pete: it’s steep enough.
Me: (laugh) it’s steep enough.
The snow is perfect for glacading, and this is the first real run of the day, right here. Here’s the sound of Pete coming, glacading up.
Pete: You could probably get going about 70 or 80 by the time you hit those rocks down there.
Me: Well, if you were trying really hard (laugh).
Pete: Yeah, maybe a little earlier in the day.
Me: Well, the register said it was the 31st of May, and that might be right, I might’ve lost a day somewhere. But it’s Friday, we made it to the top! hooray!
Its Friday May 31st, already had one little entry from the mountainside, obvious ly we successfully climbed Whitney, the day’s project. It was beautiful, pretty , stereotypical beautiful mountain climb. We had sunshine and incredible views and all that. Had a little bit of experience with the ice axes, or we got some at last. I was hoping we would get a little bit of practice because might have to use them sometime, like tomorrow on Forester Pass. I hope we don’t have to use them, but who knows. And ah, the day went really pretty smoothly, the only real glitch was ah, oh the boots worked fine, gaitors worked fine, everything we haven’t touched since Mexico pretty much did the job, except well I forgot to bring sunscreen along and got a pretty bad sunburn on my face. Ooh it’s gonna hurt tomorrow, not too good for my skin, thats, shit happens. Oh, back down in Crabtree Meadow we have 23 miles tomorrow, or more actually, 24 to Kearsarge Pass, I don’t think we’ll make it that far. Then whatever we don’t make we do that, the next day, plus nine more to the road where we have to hitchike into Independence on Monday, or Sunday. Sunday, yeah. Tomorrow’s Saturday, Forester Pass day. Ah I don’t know, I was feeling really good coming off the mountain and now I’m just startin to come down I think. I keep wondering what to do with these little recordings. I want to get some more live stuff like today with the glacading, that was fun. But uh, i don’t know, I guess I’m still just kind of drifting with what direction to take it. And I’ve been reciting the day’s events which is all fine and dandy and probably really boring on top. (groan) I guess I’m just digging around for a theme, or something to kind of tie all these things in together, or start making them more cohesive. But I keep having these tiring days, and by the end of a day like this I’m too tired to really (huff) fire up the old creative engines. I think of things I want to do in other areas during the day, things I want to do when I get to the next town, or something I want to try, or something, ideas I want to put in letters to people, but, just ah, ideas for the tapes. For the tape entries, they’re just not coming, I’m having a block.
Pete’s got some kind of idea for using the tapes here pretty soon, but he says its going to be a surprise, so we’ll just let it come when it comes.
Um, Forester Pass is kind of ominous tomorrow, we keep hearing it described as a huge granite wall with cutbacks, switchbacks chiseled into it. And if its covered with snow it could be pretty ugly. Its 13,200 feet high, highest point on the trail, and tomorrow’s it. But I am kind of enheartened by our climb up the highest mountain in the lower 48 today, which really was not too bad, and that wasn’t even on a south facing slope, so I’m crossing my fingers and hoping its going to look good. It did when we looked north, the direction we’re going from Whitney. It just looked like peaks and snow forever, maybe a tree here and there. Just kind of a, kind of intimidating, and at the same time exhilarating. (laugh) I’m not too enthusiastic right now, I’m too tired, but I really did feel enthusiastic then, when I was looking at it (as well as intimidated).
And coming down from the mountain, it seemed like a beautiful and hard life we’re living. And I think that’s what it is, beautiful and hard. In many different ways. So, I think that’s going to be it for tonight. It’s not too dark yet, but I’m tired. So we’ll check back tomorrow, and see how the adventure on Forester Pass goes.