Monday, August 04, 2008

So you want to be a mountaineer? Yowsa.

Ryan and his friend Fitz attempted to climb "Vanishing Point" a 1,500 rock race that climbs up Mount Barring in the Index area. They obtained beta from Brian Burdo, a Northwest local who has put up hundreds of climbing routes throughout the North Cascades. There's two ways to climb it - one by hiking to the base of the mountain and the other by hiking up the back side of the mountain and then repelling down, only to climb back up.

The left Seattle Saturday morning and Ryan told me if I didn't hear from him by 2am on Sunday night then to call mountain rescue. (Standard issue for when goes out to climb big walls - but still scary nonetheless.)

So onward they pushed- 4 hours up the back side of the mountain - only to be enveloped in misty clouds - proving for poor visibility and no way to see the climb. He said the route was marked by lots of fluorescent ties from base jumpers who make the venture up - and then jump. They carefully climbed up to the edge of the rock, looking down to where they would have climbed had the weather cooperated. But when the sun didn't come out until 11 am on Sunday - their summit hopes were squashed. It took them just as long to descend the steep trail as it did to climb up it - and now they are both hungry to go back and conquer "Vanishing Point." Pictures to follow...

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