Mt. Margaret

After three days of backpacking, Allison and I were ready to do some climbing without 30 lb packs. We decided to tackle Mount Margaret – a nice little mound of rock near the park entrance that would conveniently save us having to purchase more shuttle tickets.

The first part of the climb was a pretty easy class 2 walk-up. Because it was so easy, we got lazy with the route selection… and before we knew it, we found ourselves facing a somewhat nasty class 4 pitch. This was the kind of stuff that definitely would have turned us aside, had we been lugging the more cumbersome backpacking gear.

But we weren’t lugging the more cumbersome backpacking gear, so there wasn’t going to be any retreating. The question really came down to our different climbing styles. I was in favor of bypassing this particular stretch by traversing a field of loose scree, while Allison wanted to just climb the thing head-on.

“Hey, Allison, how’s about we cut over that way.”
“Are you nuts!? You’re going to get me killed. We should go this way.”
“Are you nuts!? You’re going to get me killed.”

And so on.

Being a gentleman, I caved in first. And I even insisted on going second, so I could take pictures and absorb the blows from the rocks she rained down on me (and also, so I could tell myself that I’d somehow manage to catch her if she came falling by (and, I suppose, so she could use her otherworldly (and vastly superior) route-finding skills to actually find a way to the top)).

...and there she goes

…and there she goes

DSCN4263

“Don’t leave me!!”

I was definitely awake at this point, and I’d only had one small cup of instant coffee. After about 35-40 vertical feet of scrambling, we found a way to cut back over to a more gentle slope.

Cutting back over to that gentle grassy slope

Cutting back over to a more gentle slope

The rest of the climb was uneventful, except for the little mountain sheep we kept running into. I wanted to shout at them – “WAKE UP SHEEPLE” – but Allison was determined to creep up on them quietly so we could take pictures. So I (sheepishly) complied. (I used the “sheepish” pun as many times as I could throughout the day, but for some reason Allison didn’t find it as funny as I did.)

Bah

Bah

So we get to the summit, and come to find out the top of this mountain was right off the set of The Lord of the Rings.

Weathertop in the background; Ringwraiths off-camera stage left

Weathertop in the background; Ringwraiths off-screen stage left

"They're taking the hobbits to Isengard!"

“They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard!”

We also found a cool place to eat lunch, and I did some crawling around on the ground with my tiny, 3-year-old, completely non-fancy Nikon Coolpix…just to prove that any buffoon with a digital camera can take awesome pictures. (I have this thing against camera snobs, see.) Behold my amateurish artistry:

Allison + Dall sheep + flowerz + Mt. McKinley + lenticular clouds

Allison + Dall sheep + flowers + Mt. McKinley + lenticular clouds (atop the mountain)

While eating, we saw a marmot watching us from the rocks. We also got charged by a sheep, but he veered off about 30 feet before reaching us. I don’t think he appreciated us eating lunch on his hillside.

Eating lunch on his hillside

Eating lunch on his hillside

Descending the mountain

Sheepishly moving away from the angry sheep

Later in the afternoon we climbed down the other side of the mountain, hiked back to the car, and called it a day.

Published in: on June 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m exhausted just from reading all of what you two did! Wow.

  2. Amazing pics! I agree the summit could pass for the one in The Lord of the Rings. In keeping with the theme of the post, it does appear Allison was a bit “sheepish” on this journey…she was turned away on all the photos! : )


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