Pullman Friday after work, and made it half way between Othello and Royal City,
before the timing belt on the Mustang broke. We took sleeping bags and the tent
and began hitch-hiking to Othello. We got a ride around midnight. We camped in
a field, and shortly after setting up the tent (the Wenzel) the cops showed up
wondering what we were doing. We explained our situation and they wished us
morning, we went to the parts store, bought a timing belt and hitch hiked back
to the car. While working on the car, Eric popped a hole in the radiator. He
rounded up some cans and found running water. After replacing the timing belt,
we filled the radiator and left the cap off to prevent the system from
pressurizing. We drove to the nearest store, and bought some stop leak, which
worked like a charm.
We drove to Bellingham, and
rounded up my brother Mark. He followed us up the mosquito lake road, and
up the gravel road that goes between the twin sisters and Mt. Baker. We
left the car in the small parking lot and hopped into the back of Marks pickup.
He drove us around to the ski lodge and dropped us off. The road to the
Table Mountain parking area was closed because they were installing drainage
pipes along side the road, so we had to hike from the lodge. We made it to
Camp Sherman around midnight.
We got up
just before the sun, and began hiking to the mountain. We made a wrong turn and
ended up climbing down a 750 foot cliff. Once we got off the cliff, a small
rain cloud passed over and we waited it out under a plastic tarp. We plotted
our route up the glacier, and watched two other climbers as they got boxed into
a maze of crevasses, and then work their way down and around the blockage.
We climbed along side a large
ice fall at the base of Park glacier, then made our way toward the Cockscomb.
The smell of sulfur was very strong the whole time on the mountain. We met
the other climbers just before we reached the North Ridge, as they were leaving
the summit. We followed their tracks over a small snow bridge that spanned
a large moat, and finally onto the North Ridge. The rest of the way to the
summit was incredibly slow and difficult. It was late in the afternoon and
the snow was soft and we sank up to our knees with every step. We finally
reached the summit at about 7:00 pm.
We ran down the south side of
the mountain to the saddle by the steam vent. The vent sounded like a busy
freeway. We wanted to climb down a little closer to the vent, but we
didn't have time. We began to work our way out onto Easton Glacier, but
didn't get very far. The sun went down, and our knees were hurting, so we
decided to camp on the glacier.
The tent had bounced out of
Eric's pack on the way down the mountain, so we carved a shallow shelter in the
glacier with our ice axes and rolled ourselves up in the tarp. There were
thunder storms rolling through the valley bellow us, so we made plans to wake
the other up at the first sign of precipitation, but lucky for us, the night
went well. It didn't rain or snow on us, and we slept better than we had
the previous two nights.
morning our knees felt better, so we packed up and headed down again. We made
it to the trail, but missed a turn and ended up hiking about two miles in the
wrong direction, and had to back track. Just before reaching the car, the trail
crossed the middle fork of the Nooksack river, but the water was much too high
to wade across and it took a bit of searching before we found a log a ways up
stream that we could cross on.