Grand Mogul 2007
                                              The trip up Baron Peak didn't scare         
                                             Kevin away and he is as big of a                 
                                           glutton for punishment as the rest of            
                                        or group, so he called again and wanted         
                                      to step it up a notch and climb something          
                                    a bit more technical. The Grand Mogul fits          
                                 the bill perfectly, being a bit more technical            
                               than Baron Peak, but not too scary--all with             
                            incredible views.
                  Never wanting to suffer alone he got Tom and                     
                 John (long time groupies) to join               
              the trip. Our plan was to get to Stanley and catch the               
           last boat across the lake or bribe the driver to take us after
hours if need be. Well we got to Stanley about 20 minutes before the
last boat and Tom and John were about 15 minutes behind us and
when they pulled into the parking lot they asked how much time until
the boat left and we said 5 minutes! They packed like madmen and we
were off 5 minutes later. Good thing the hike to the campsite is only
100 yards, because we looked like gypsies packing from the boat dock
to the tent site. Having never met Tom and John, but having a lot in
common and many common acquaintances and experiences, we sat
up for several hours swapping tales and getting to know each other.
We were on the trail at about 6:30 am, Tom took off up the hill like a
mountain goat and the rest of us just followed in his dust. We finally
caught up to Tom at the snow line (really he was waiting for several
minutes), dug out the crampons and Tom took off again with the rest of
us in our usual place behind him. The chock stone was the only real
obstacle of the climb and it was in fine shape. After a stemming,
chimney move for 15 ft., the route exited over a tilting slab to an
awkward grungy roof.
No problem--I declared "Alpine Climbing Rules" were in effect--then
anything was fair game, so after un repentantly using the anchor as a
hand hold, I swung over the roof fairly easily. The next pitch was its
usual grungy, muddy state until back onto the snow on the upper
snowfield. With the sun starting to hit the upper mountain, I opted to
stay closer to the wall than usual to avoid some rockfall potential with
Tom and John above us, it turned out to be a wise move as we
watched a rock about the size of a beach ball roll right through the
usual ascent route. Luckily the rock came out between where Tom and
John were and where Kevin and I were at the time. Other than the rock
incident, we were on top without any problems. The conditions were a
little soft, but the steps were deep and the climbing was easy.
We began the scramble up to the summit and when Kevin saw the
2000 ft of exposure below the move over the NW ridge, he opted for
the South ridge route. I had told them about the tunnel through the
mountain, but everyone was amazed when they actually saw I wasn't
The weather on the summit was beautiful, clear and windless and we
shared it with another party from Minnesota. It was the father and
friends of another climber who went missing after climbing the peak last
summer and has never been found. They had climbed the peak to get
a better understanding of how difficult it was to find a missing person in
the area.
The trip down the mountain was the usual scree slog and about 1/2
way down Tom and John decided to head for the main trail, while Kevin
and I stayed high to avoid the creek crossing. We all ended up back in
camp and had a nice boat ride back to the lodge and dinner on the
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