I arrived about 7PM on Friday night. At Westkill trailhead, it is
very cold: predicted to go down to 2 degrees with winds. I
decided tosleep in car, which was nice and warm.
I woke up before 7 to find very heavy clouds and light
snow. I was packed and away by 7. All my water was frozen.I
packed two bottles of gatorade that were still slush because they were
next to my sleeping bag.
There were two inches of snow on the ground, less near the trailhead.
I arrived at the junction by 8. Looking up to North Dome,
I could not see the peak through the snow and clouds. It looked
very steep, and much colder up there. There were no tracks in the
snow. I seriously considered turning around, but then decided to
go on as long as considtions did not get worse.
The east ridge of North Dome has lots of cliffs, with steep parts in between. Mostly cliffs were covered
in ice. Detoured around to the north where slope was generally less steep. Footing was slippery, but not enough snow for crampons.
|Frozen Cliffs -- East Ridge of North Dome|
I arrived at North Dome at 10:00, where there were still no tracks. I quickly signed log book and pushed on. I followed ridge for even though it seemed to be going too far to the left. I was relieved to finally find a fresh set of tracks, which I could follow. I figured they led to Sherrill. After 15 happy minutes I came upon North Dome again. They were my own tracks!
Setting off again, I made sure to head down to the right
instead of following ridge. After descending a ways I finally
sighted Sherrill across the col.
I stopped at the spring (11 AM), to heat water. I heated up the liquid part of the gatorade, then poured it into bottle to melt the rest of it. Repeat for other bottle. I drank one bottle, heated water to fill the empty bottle, then drank some remaining hot water. Refreshed, I headedoff to Sherrill.
The slope was not so steep as North Dome, nor was the weather as forbidding. Near the top, I came upon club group heading to North Dome. Three minuts later (12:00), I was at the canister. What do you know, there is Dave White. He was with a couple others, one of whom had just completed his winter 35. They were getting ready to head back, sio I quickly signed in and headed back down with them..
The trip down the west slope was relatively gentle, but long. We arrived at th parking area before 2:00.
They drove me back to my car, where I arrived by 2:45. Everything was wet, and I had a hard time keeping warm when I was not hiking.. I decided to join Kitty at Mohonk rather than staying and climbing something else on Sunday.
Sunday turned out to be warm and sunny -- near or above freezing. If I could have toughed it out, it would have been a good climbing day.
Lesson: make sure bring dry clothing for each day.
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Last modified 2/19/2007