Only 5 days until the climb! Here’s the itinerary along with a map for you. Another post will follow shortly with resources to follow along as I climb via live updates from the mountain guides.
Day 1 (June 18): The climb starts at Bunny Flat (6,800 ft.). We hike to Horse Camp (7,880 ft.) for lunch and continue to Hidden Valley (~9,600 ft.) where we will make camp. Bedtime is early (around 8pm) since day 2 starts very early. Total elevation climb: 3,000 ft.
Day 2 (June 19): Wake up at 1am and start in waves by 2am. We will rope together in groups of 3-5 and head up the West Face (WF on the map above). At 13,800 ft. we reach Misery Hill, which I’m hoping is sarcastically named. Then comes the final push to the summit at 14,162 ft. After a break at the summit we will descend again to base camp at Hidden Valley. Total elevation climb: 4,500ft.
Day 3 (June 20): Descend from base camp at Hidden Valley and reach the Bunny Flat trailhead by afternoon.
According to the latest climbing advisory (6/10/2013), climbing conditions are still good although the snowmelt is happening faster than typical leading to conditions usually seen in mid to late July. The upper portion of the West Face is already melted, leaving just rock and an increased risk of rock slides and danger from hollow, partially melted snow. Temperatures should be in the 80s next week (although Wunderground.com is forecasting thursday to be 97F!) and the wind is expected to be strong from west – southwest. Despite the pleasant daytime temperatures, it can still get pretty cold at night and the wind chill can make even sunny days cold. On top of that, even though there’s a forecast of 0% precipitation, unexpected winter storms often spring up at this time of year.