Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dharma Bumming on Matterhorn

Sorry it's been so infrequent on the blog posts! Internet around the area isn't the easiest to access for free or the best, and I have more pictures I want to post than time to do it in!
After climbing hard in Yosemite Valley for a week, we took a day to do laundry and take showers before heading out towards one of the neighboring towns of Twin Lakes to do a hike straight from literature- Matterhorn Peak, the subject of "Dharma Bums" by Jack Kerouac. The peak tops out at 12,290 ft, and we started at 7,000 feet, so for all of Sunday was constant uphill. We were super psyched at first to be living a book:
and made sure to stop and think some deep thoughts at the boulder that Kerouac camped under, where he contemplated one of his famous quotes, "When you get to the top of the mountain, keep climbing!"
It got a little harder as the snow fields became the only terrain,
but we pressed on and made it to just below 11,000 ft before setting up camp for the night in a little inlet in the snow field, protected from the fierce wind blowing across the mountains. Notice how much snow there is!
The next day we hiked the last 1,200 ft pretty much up straight skree. I agreed with Kerouac's decisive note that when you try to hike up that crap it's "1 foot forward, 3 feet back" and it took about two hours to get up that last bit.
But get up we did!!
It felt like the wind at the top was trying to blow us off, but we took in the incredible panoramic view,
wrote some thoughts in the summit registry that were hopefully Kerouac-worthy, (I wrote something to the effect of "Sometimes all it takes to get to the top is a little positive reinforcement")
and headed back down the mountain feeling satisfied.
Pizza and White Russians that night at the base tasted amazing (we were quoting the movie "The Big Lebowski" the whole way up, so it seemed right) before waking up early to do another 700 feet of climbing on Cathedral Peak and Eichorn's Pinnacle. More on that later... :)

1 comment:

Mark said...

Who'd have thunk that your winter camping training on the North Shore would come in handy in July! So if 7/21 was a rest day, you must have been on the peak of the Matterhorn on the 42nd anniversary of Apollo 11's moon landing on the 20th. Loved your quote (it was indeed Kerouac-worthy). Thanks for allowing your readers to climb vicariously via your blog. If a climb can equate to "living a book", can somebody knitting one of those cute critters like you knit say they're "living a blog?"