We broke camp this morning, loaded into the van and went back to Seattle. Today was all about showering (finally!), resupplying, and getting a good night’s rest before heading back out into the wilderness. Tomorrow we meet at the office at 7am to head for Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park.
Sorry for the absence the last few days and the flurry of activity today, but we’ve been really out in the wilderness with no cell coverage so I couldn’t post! I assume it will be much of the same over the next couple days, but if I can post I will. To my awesome aunt & uncle out in Texas, I’m sorry but there will be no phone call from the summit! I will call when I get back to civilization 🙂
On a more bittersweet note, we are saying farewell to two amazing people, Michael and Keith. Michael is our fantastic lead guide who has done a superb job of leading us through these past couple of days. He returned from guiding on Everest just a few weeks ago and has been going strong ever since, guiding in Washington. Unfortunately he was ill upon returning from Everest (as are most) and it has persisted to a point that he is going to take a well deserved couple of days off to see a doctor and rest at home with his fantastic wife and 8 month old son (who is absolutely adorable, I might add). We’ll miss him, but are happy to see him getting the care he needs to get better. Luckily we still have Peter, our other spectacular guide who was with us through the training/Mt. Baker segment of the course, to keep our journey going strong, and he will be joined by guides Lakpa and Lee for the Rainier climb.
We are also sending off fellow climber Keith. He had a foot injury years ago and after recovering from a difficult surgery marred by infection and complications, worked his way toward fitness and backpacking. He did tremendously well and preserved, but unfortunately was in significant pain just below the Roman Wall on Mt. Baker and decided that he needed to descend for his own safety. He ultimately decided to cut the trip short and withdraw from the Mt. Rainier climb, as well. It was a tough call but he is ultimately doing what is best for his health, which is the #1 priority. The mountains will still be here when and if he decides to return. Safe travels Keith! No regrets! Enjoy your Mountain Dew 😀