Monday, January 1, 2007

Teanaway Butte, Tarzan Butte 1.1.07

have been out of the loop for a while with regards to snow condtions, so I opted for something I was familiar with. I have recently felt the need to find climbing partners to share my time with. I feel prudent on some more demanding days for some extra insurance. I sent out some emails and found two who were willing to spend the day with me and my annoying pets. The goal was for a summit of Teanaway Butte. The road sees alot of snowmobiles so I knew the track would be somewhat faster. We had no problems in reaching the road that ends within a half mile of the summit. We now were on untracked snow but with taking turns the summit was reached quickly. Although it was quite cloudy and snowing lightly the skies seemed to lift for us on the summit. It was nice to see a little more of the area peaks mantled in snow. After a short stay we returned mostly by our up route. After a little discussion we decided that Tarzan Butte(pt. 4365)needed to be climbed. The route is straight forward and soon we were making our way up the nearly 1000ft climb to the summit. For this summit I was pushed to the back of the bus. I am not used to having a hard keeping up with anyone, so I was not quite sure how to handle it. I am much heavier than my climbing partners who were good enough to give me easy steps up the Butte. Too bad for me none of these steps would hold my weight. I spent good portions on my hands and knees crawling. I urged them on and not to worry about me. I soon began cramping intensely which was a new one for me. After a brief rest the pain subsided. I dropped pack with every intention of calling it a day less than 500ft from the summit. I thought I would give it a go with improved snow condition higher up and my somewhat lighter load I was able to make the summit(much to my suprise). We decided on the downclimb to try and make it a little shorter by taking a more direct line to the road of our ascent. This provided me with some anxious time as I was mostly out of gas and I was concerned we might not make it on the shortest line. After what seemed(to me) an enternity we rejoined the road and were on the endless 6+ mile trudge to the car. By now it was completely dark and the weather turned to freezing rain. We all found it quite comical to be layered in so much ice. With about 2 miles to go I found some hidden reserves and ran portions of the rest of the way. I was hoping to put enough time between myself and my companions to have the car warm for their return. More or less I achieved this goal. I was horrified to see the dome light on in the car upon my return. The door hadn't shut properly and since we had been on the go for well over nine hours I wasn't to hopeful that the car would start. Much to my relief it fired right up. Now all I had to do was to chip the half inch thick ice that had engulfed the car. I think after such a trying day we were all ready to be home. The freezing rain made the Teanaway Road an ice skating rink. I was forced to go very slow. The road conditions were mostly white knuckled for me most of the way to North Bend. All and all it was a great day. I was much impressed with the skill of my partners and was very proud of my 4 legged companions as well. I found the highlight of the day was being passed by snowmobilers well after dark. I cannot even imagine what they might have thought seeing our quite motley crew.

Approx 18+miles 4000ft climb 9:30 car to car

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