Actually the hardest part of the whole trip, was getting up the road - only 42 visitors are allowed per day at Lake O'Hara (not counting all the rich people at the lodge), and most bookings for the campground are made three months in advance. Our original group of nine had shrunk to four because of these logistical problems, and my suggestion that we might 'sneak' in via the old trail was not greeted with much enthusiasm (Note: you now have to ford Cataract Brook in the Meadows some 4-5 km S of the parking area in order to access the trail on the W leading to the lake; the bridge lower down the creek was sawed up to prevent anyone from getting to Lake O'Hara other than by the bus - this hypothesis was, in fact, confirmed by two wardens at the lake). But we lucked out and on Thursday morning, due to a cancellation, I got permission to use one of the campsites.
We met at Christine's on Friday at 3:00pm, drove to Laggan's for a calorie boost, and were at the O'Hara parking lot by 5:30pm, with plenty of time to catch the 6:30 bus. Once up the road we found a campsite at the far end of the campground that appeared to be (and was) far enough away from the communal cooking, yakking, and singing area to be quiet at night. We talked to the campground warden about our plans, and she insisted that we sign out for the climb, posting a 10:00pm return time before rescue efforts would be mounted (note: it's almost always a bad plan to have a return deadline).
On Saturday we were up about 5:15am and off by headlamp an hour later. Although some of climbers I had spoken to... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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