The Cowboy Climbs Humphreys His Way!

10-11 Aug 2002 - by Nancy Fitzsimmons

On August 10th, 6 of us met at the North Lake trailhead at 9 am to climb Mt Humphrey's. Most of us had wanted to climb this Peak for the last 5 years, but one thing or the other had always prevented us from doing so. The group consisted of: Ron Karpel, Jim Ramaker, Landa Robillard, Tom Driscoll, Nancy Fitzsimmons and Arun Mahajan (the "cowboy").

The hike up to Piute Pass was gentle and easy to follow. We had nice weather, lots of wild flowers and the conversation was pretty entertaining (politics, accounting scandals and Alan Greenspan). We took our time and got to the big lake below the base of the summit of Humphrey's around 3pm. We were greeted by some friends: Debbie Benham, Dot Reilly, John and Chris Kerr and Dave Erskine. They had climbed Humphrey's on Saturday and were back at camp relaxing. We had a nice visit with them and begged Debbie for some of her famous jokes.

Sunday morning we got rolling at 6.00 am sharp! We headed up the south-west slope via a left sloping ramp that linked to more left sloping ramps that got progressively steeper, to the prominent notch in the ridge, slipping and slidinng on the scree. We climbed the northwest face over some fun third class terrain. Arun (cowboy) led the fourth-class section in his cowboy (er, approach) boots, lassoing some old pitons and horns along the route, therefore proving that mountain climbing was only an extension of his calf- roping skills. One easy pitch and we were up on top! (There were a few tough moves: was this really fourth class? We felt that Arun had accidently, or otherwise, taken a harder line) Ron and Jim followed and reached the top by 9:30 while Arun was belaying us and therefore we took a bit more time, with the last one (the cowboy) summiting by 10:30. After the roped pitch, which is easily spotted by a couple of strong looking slings with a couple of rap-rings, there was an exposed move over a down-sloping rock. Ron, with the help of Jim, set up a line for the rest of us to clip into, if needed, for this section. On the way back, we rappelled the roped pitch section on two 60 meter ropes (climbing ropes, no lariats!). Ron sacrificed a couple of his personal slings to strengthen the existing ones (thanks, Ron!). We scuffed down through the scree, arriving at camp by 1 pm, a 7 hour round-trip. We packed-up and hiked-out (not even cowboy had a horse) arriving at the trailhead by 5:45 pm.

Thanks to everyone for a great weekend, it was a pleasure to go up this beautiful peak with such a good group.


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