Live and learn
(Dehydration on Mt Langley)

1-2 Oct 2004 - by Max Pentilescu

Cottonwood Lakes/Army Pass/SW face

Fantastic vistas on way up, from summit and just about anywhere. Didn't know rock could come in so many varieties. The most difficult (and they are not that difficult) sections are Army Pass and final rise to summit: bookends of toil.

After six hour drive from sea level, I packed into the lakes after dark on a Friday: 31/2 hours to camp...wasn't sure which lake, 1,2,3,4,5 I camped near cause my weak headlamp illuminated only my ankles. Had to use a rock to break through stream ice to get water in the AM. Off to Army Pass at 8 AM. Looks like I camped at lake #2.

Brought only a liter of water. I know I should have brought three or four liters; I get migranes and they arrive even more frequently at altitude AND coming from sea level to altitude, I could develop AMS...but this idiot did not want to add weight to his pack. Stay high on the traverse from Army to Langley. Go as far left as you can up the boulder pile to the summit ridge. Cells coming in and snow falling. Summited just after 12.

On descent from summit, migraine and AMS hit hard. Left samples of the four major food groups all over the place. Head felt like a bus was running over it. Hard just to open eyes. Energy sapped. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Made it back to tent and collapsed 1/2 in and 1/2 out of tent. Lesson: hubris belongs in Greek tragedy not in mountains. Acclimatize and hydrate; it makes the trip much more enjoyable.


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