Chamonix... n'est-ce pas?
This my friends, is what Greg Child describes as Trango Tower sized experience "for the price of a twelve hour drive from Seattle and a $900 helicopter ride."
Welcome to Mt. Waddington. What a range and what a bargain!
Tucking in to this mega mountain only 24 hours after leaving home in Squamish was nothing short of miraculous. I'd first heard about this smash n' grab style when Mikey Shaefer and Colin Haley made a similar hot lap into the mythic Devil's Thumb for a long weekend sendathon of the Diablo Traverse. http://www.climbing.com/news/haley-schaefer-link-devils-thumb-peaks-2/
Not that I don't enjoy a good schlep, but sometimes life is a busy thing. So, instead of making the Olympian approach like my friends Jason Kruk and Tony Richarson (see their story here: http://jasonthekruk.blogspot.ca/2011/10/journey-to-mystery-mountain-part-1.html) I joined Ines Papert and Mayan Smith-Gobat in the whirly bird and dropped in for a quick tour of this incredible massif.
Here's the skinny on some of the crucial gear that was instrumental in helping us climb this Alpine jackhammer of justice.
Mayan with the BD Firstlight. Used as a light duty basecamp tent and a bivi bag for the three of us. We left the poles behind for the climb and wriggled into this golden beauty when the anemometer turned up to 11 and darkness caught us on the descent around the same hour. Light, yet belligerent towards wind, this rig kept us alive during a most rugged scree bivy ca. 3500 meters.
In the wee morning hours I led a frigid block and crammed numb feet into the comfortable and supportive Techno X. These Italian lace ups let you to jam like a bawse and edge like a ballerina, two things this route demanded. They even provided the requisite stiffness to kick steps up snow when transitioning to boots would have wasted precious time.
I use these durable (reinforced knee and derière) lightweight (340 grams) pants for a plethora of applications: In summer and winter for rock, ice and mixed as well as for pubwork above treeline and in select European locations.