Sunday, March 11, 2012

Looking for Zeus, Mount Olympus

On Saturday March 10, 2012 was my second accent of Mount Olympus. The first was back in February 1999, both were winter accents. The first one was up the north west face. The latest was up the Mount Olympus trail starting near Pete's Rock.
I was invited by my friend and home teacher, Dave Fowler.
The day did not start out well. I set my alarm on my phone to go off at 6:10am; the only problem was my phone died sometime in the middle of the night. I did wake up on my own at 6:36am. I threw my gear into my pack and rushed out the door to meet Dave.
We started out journey up the trail around 7:15am. There were several other groups climbing the mountain that morning. Some solo, others in groups of 2-3. Dave's friend Anthony was late, so we started without him, knowing he would catch up.
Dave and I were passed about half way by a gentleman in his 70-80's. No crampons, or trex, but waterproof trail running shoes.
Anthony soon caught up, took off ahead of us. This is when I started to struggle.
I have been climbing, backpacking, mountaineering my entire life. My father taught us from a young age how to enjoy the outdoors, leave it better than you found it, and to become efficient in doing outdoor activities. My father is a Green Beret. He served our country in the Vietnam War. While in the service he meet and became friends with Greg and Dave Lowe. Greg went on to start Lowe Alpine Systems.
About 3/4 of the way up the mountain, my right hip started to hurt. It has really has never bothered me before, but it was killing going up. I started to lag behind, but then I kicked it into gear and made it to the south saddle. Anthony was drinking a Perrier Sparking Water and Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. I pulled out my large fresh blackberries, carrots and Greek yogurt (I was on Mount Olympus).

I shared the blackberries, and Anthony shared the thin mints. We then made our summit push. It was a bit more technical than I had thought it was going to be, but not bad at all. We pushed up and summitted. It was a beautiful view. I was thinking of Paul Petzoldt as I was approaching the top. Just his will and love of climbing mountains.
We soon came down and I was once again last in the group. It would have helped if I had whole trex, but it was my fault for snapping the strap on one. It was a great experience though. I learned a lot about my abilities, and how to be a better guide in the future, even though I wasn't guiding this trip. I made to the bottom where it was a nice 52 degrees on the east bench in Salt Lake City. It truly was a grate time for me as I train for the Teton Crest Trail and maybe the Grand Teton this summer.