20 Sep 1998 - by George Miller
You gave me some information about a month ago regarding climbing Mt.
Conness. Well, we went up on a weekend in the middle of September. My
friend and I parked at Saddlebag Lake around 3 pm, walked around a bit,
ate dinner and went to sleep. After breakfast the next morning, we
headed out to the Carnegie Institute and walked up the valley to the
base of Conness. We took a left turn up a small "ice gully" that put us
on the southwest (I think) ridge. At this point, I was feeling a
slight bit nauseous and Jeff had a mild headache. We followed that up
and made it to the top in about 4.5 hours. It would have been quicker
but I just couldn't stop taking my camera out and taking more and more
pictures. As you know, it was absolutely beautiful the entire way up.
By the time we were preparing to descend into the ice gully again, Jeff
and I both had slight nausea and mild headaches. I would walk for 15
minutes and rest for 5 just to keep it from getting any worse. By the
time I had made it down to the Saddlebag Lake dam, I laid there for
about 15 minutes with mixed emotions and swore I would NEVER, EVER, NOT
IN A MILLION YEAR OR FOR A MILLION BUCKS, EVER climb that mountain
again....until next season. The altitude hit us a little. The night
before we left, I didn't get to bed until 0345 (a busy night at the
firehouse) and I think my lack of sleep had something to do with my
inability to rapidly acclimatize. We're looking to do it again next
year or possibly strap on crampons and try Mt. Ritter or Banner Peak.
Oh yea, when I arrived at the summit, I pulled out my daughter's
blankie and had my picture taken with it. She was ecstatic when I
showed it to her. She still likes to pretend the mountain was named
after HER instead of the other way around.
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