Since last Monday Chesy and I have talked adventure (more like illusions of grandeur). Her record of adventures with me though is something like 1 and 20; that's wins vs losses (not very good and I'm not reliving them here). So her reluctance to be convinced was simply unavoidable. However, as her attitude would have it she was more than interested in my newest idea. We were convinced that it would be awesome to summit Lone Peak via The Open Book (4 pitches, 5.7) within 9 months of climbing (as in 9 months ago we had never set foot on anything more than 5 feet high).
She was in and so was I and so on Friday night we were putting the pieces together. With the distractions of life (Ph.D., dogs, moving, and work) we figured we would have to do this in one long day. So we started moving at 5 a.m. Saturday morning but...we fell for the oldest trick in the book and were convinced we had plenty of time if we just rested our eyes for a few more seconds. [Eye's resting] Now it's 7 a.m. and we're just eating breakfast. So as the time ticks by we weren't on the trail until around 8:50.
Chesy looking good with Lone in the far background
"No worries" I told Chesy we were making good time to the steep part of the trail and good time to the first meadow. Unfortunately, we started to slow and by the time we reached the granite field a large backpack was taking its toll and I was unable to keep high spirits and Chesy's feet were beginning to hurt.
Fast Forward 2 hours: We had just finished Lunch and were staring up at the summit wall and back down at our watches then back up at the summit wall and so forth (a viscous cycle). It was now 2:30 and we had 3-4 hours of climbing ahead of us. That put us at the summit at 6:30 and not back to the base until 7 and we'd probably be crossing the granite fields by moonlight something neither of us were interested in doing.
We conceded, making poor usage of our time we were left to think what the route would have offered and how much better it would have been if we didn't carry all that gear with us in vein. Now here are some pictures:
Approximation of the route (Source: Mountain Project)
Kicking it through the first meadow
Lone in the distance
Admitting defeat with a smile on her face
In the end it was still an adventure and better yet I got to do it with the love of my life. We may not have made it to the top (insert sappy love cliche here) but you can't beat pictures like this. I really cannot express enough how nice it is to have Chesy as my go to partner for climbing, hiking, skiing and running. Enough sap we'll tag it another day.