Despite both of us suffering from a summer flu virus that was making the rounds, we started up the Mount Fisher trail early on July 18th. The West Ridge route departs from the normal tourist route at a couple of tarns in a large basin (ie the western cwm). As we hiked/scrambled up the very steep scree slopes Bill apologized for his slow pace, mentioning that he was feeling a little weak and light headed. As he put it, "this sure gives your old ticker a good workout". I was a bit worried as we approached the ridge, where the rock steepened to solid 3rd class climbing, that I would be leaving Bill far behind. But as I looked back down over my shoulder, I noticed that as soon as my lower foot left a hold, Bill's upper hand was grabbing on to it. Like an old war horse raising its head to the sound of a trumpet, the higher and harder the climbing, the better Bill performed.
The west ridge route is a delightful scramble on suprisingly good rock and the exposure is never great.
At the summit we ran into a group of teenage boys who had climbed up the normal route. Bill's announcement that he had first climbed the peak half a century ago seemed lost on them. No doubt the concept of someone their grandfather's age climbing a much more difficult route than they did was beyond their comprehension.
Keep on climbing Bill!... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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