Undaunted by the 5600 foot gain and the lack of even a rating on the east ridge, I set out. Even starting before dawn, it was very hot, 70s and 80s. We were camped at 6700 feet. From there to 8700 feet, were cliffs, steep loose sand, manzanita, mahogany, and the usual other unpleasant chaparral plants. There were plenty of footprints in this section. There were some nice views of the canyon. Watching a hummingbird sip from a Penstemon was fun. I knew they could fly backwards, but it appeared to fly sideways also. At this point there was a shoulder to the glacial bench. I had visions of beautiful streams and tarns. All I found was trackless forest and marshes. Without a GPS, I had to use my compass for only the third time in twenty years.
When starting on my sixth quart of water and not even a view of Goat mountain yet, I started thinking of the wine and other goodies back at camp where the others were having happy hour. I am sure others could have gone further, but it seemed enough to me.
This was the least enjoyable climb that I have ever done.
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