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Training for Rainier
July 28, 2009
New Jersey to Snowdon
August 4, 2009

Climbed Vestal Peak via the Wham Ridge with Pat from El Paso, TX this week.  We did the trip as a 2 day climb, riding the train to Elk Park and hiking into Vestal Basin on Day 1.  An alpine start on Day 2 got us up and down the Wham Ridge and back to camp in the basin by noon.  We packed up camp and trudged back out and up to Molas Pass via the 45 switchbacks trail.

All in all, a great trip with pretty good weather most of the time.  Hard to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms this time of year, so early starts make all the difference.  From the top of Vestal Peak (13,894) it is a 5,000 ft. descent back to the Animas, then another 2,000 ft. up to the top of Molas.  About 10 miles and 10,000 ft. of elevation gain and loss in one day.  A true mountain day to be sure.  Great work Pat!

Next up is a Jagged Mtn./Storm King Peak program next week.  Stay tuned for updates and pics from the trip!

ND

Vestal Peak (left) and Arrow Peak from the beaver ponds

Vestal Peak (left) and Arrow Peak from the beaver ponds

Pat in 4-wheel drive on Wham Ridge

Pat in 4-wheel drive on Wham Ridge

Leading out high on Wham Ridge

Leading out high on Wham Ridge

On the summit of Vestal Peak

On the summit of Vestal Peak