Mount Darwin, Mount Lamarck
By: Dan Richter
Asher Waxman, Erik Siering and I met at the North Lake trail head Saturday morning. This was to be Asher's SPS emblem trip and we were in a fine mood. The climb up and over Lamarck Col was delightful, a clear pristine day and easy climbing. Arriving at the sandy ledges at the spring below the col at 12,200 feet we met Jim Murphy and Mary Sue Miller, in to climb Mendel, and some of the large party that Steve Thaw was planning to take up Darwin the next day. Asher's emblem was rapidly turning into a social event.
I had a blistering altitude headache so I took a nap and then at 4:00 we took a before dinner climb to Lamarck.
Sunday morning we got off just after six and we were soon on the glacier on our way to the notch. Seeing runners on the rocks on the left side of chute we took a look and soon realized it wouldn't go so we crossed over to the right side and joined Steve's group of nine climbers who were just arriving. To get to the ridge we put up a fixed line to get everyone past one exposed snowy slab and I cut one step in blue ice at the top of the notch.
The ridge to the summit went smoothly and Asher moved out ahead to the summit blocks and his emblem. Asher, arriving at the summit, began free climbing the back of the block. As Asher climbed, one of Steve's party, Tom, free climbed the front of the block and belayed me up were I met Asher on the top to congratulate him. Asher and I down climbed the back as Tom set up an anchor to belay people up. As Asher and I were having lunch watching the others summit I remarked that I had forgotten to photograph him on top so he free climbed it again so I could take the obligatory emblem shot. Erik, Asher and I slipped off before Steve's group and were back in camp about 6:00 p.m.
The walk out Monday morning was very pleasant and we were in Bishop for lunch.
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