NOLS Alaska Mountaineering – Day 14

7/2/09

Hello again!

We climbed the highest peak in Divide Basin today!! It took 2.5 hours of climbing, but the top was absolutely incredible. I was in the second rope team, so I was the sixth person to summit the peak. It was really tiring though, because the instructors let the students leading choose everything including when to have breaks, and they didn’t take a break the entire time. We all ended up dehydrated, but they learned. Like I said though, it was completely worth it and the summit was incredible! You could see Denali, the Eastern Alaska range, the Chugach range, and all of the tundra we hiked through including our starting point. We took a ton of pictures too!

The way back down was also quite a thrill. Initially, the slope we went down had to be at least a 60 degree incline, and I learned to REALLY trust my snowshoes. The view was insane from there, however, because when I looked straight ahead out at the rest of the mountains, I could no longer see the ground. It felt like I was hanging in the air.

The way back down only took about 1.5 hours since we could go faster and already knew where the major cracks and crevasses on the mountain were.

After we got back to camp, everyone was exhausted so we got 2.5 hours to hang out. JP decided to eat teriyaki beef jerky in the tent, so the tent smelled gross for a while. I covered my face with my hat and slept outside for most of the break. It was a great nap, even if I was still a bit tired after I woke up.

We had class in the afternoon, and learned how to make more knots, all with German names. So Emil and I talked with German accents through the entire class.

Next we were given the choice of taking tomorrow off or climbing another peak at 6am. The instructors told us to keep in mind that in the afternoon we are also expected to do crevasse rescue training “with a lot of energy”. Considering how tired today made me, I decided to take tomorrow morning off to relax, and then climb the next day’s peak. Jake and John are also taking tomorrow off. I know I came out here to climb, but i need to use my energy wisely and since crevasse training is more important than a peak ascent, that’s where my energy is going.

Normally every night Geoff stays up and boils water for everyone’s water bottles (he says he enjoys it), but since the rest of my tent is climbing tomorrow I had water duty tonight. It wasn’t bad. I figured out that after reading one page the snow should be stirred, and after another it was melted. I got a lot of my book read, haha. It’s a really good book too! I plan on reading much more during tomorrow’s break.

One last thing I think is cool are the avalanches. There are these two mountains about a mile from camp that produce them about every hour. For some reason they’re kinda fun to watch.

Hope mom and grandma made it to Seabrook safely today! While I wish I could be with them, I’m enjoying my time here. We’ll have plenty of fun when I get back!

Miss you all!

~Fia

<- DAY 13    ||    DAY 15 ->

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