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MOUNT DARWIN


Ascent of Mount Darwin (West Ridge, class 3), with René Renteria, July 21, 2018.


Timeline:

July 20, 2018. We departed from the Lamarck Lakes trailhead at 12:04, and hiked up to the start of the hanging valley leading to Lamarck Col, above the Lamarck Lakes. At 14:30 it started to rain so we pitched the tent and played cards for a few hours, waiting for the thunderstorm to abate. We packed up camp and restarted our hike toward Lamarck Col at 18:30. We reached the col at 20:01, and set up camp about half way between Lamarck Col and Darwin Canyon at 20:30. (A 4:26 hour day).

July 21, 2018. We left camp at 5:45 and headed to Darwin Glacier, reaching the base of the West Ridge route at 8:00. We roped up for a bit of class 4 climbing to gain the proper class 3 ledges to the notch. We were on the West Ridge proper at 9:16 – a great scramble over easy class 2-3 rock. We reached the summit plateau at 10:00, and were atop the summit block at 10:31. We started our descent at 11:00 and were back down from Darwin Glacier at 13:30. We rushed back in camp as a thunderstorm was gathering, reaching the tent under pouring rain at 15:51. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the damp tent, playing cards and waiting for the weather to improve. Around 18:30 we were finally able to step out of the tent and cook dinner in our hail-covered campsite. (A 10:06 hour day).

July 22, 2018. We took our time getting up, waiting for the sun to come out and dry our damp gear. We left camp at 9:24 and were slow climbing back up to Lamarck Col, reaching there at 10:15. We hiked down toward Lamarck Lakes and then North Lake, with a few short breaks on the way including lunch. A thunderstorm exploded as we were reaching the North Lake campground, and we got soaked again. I dropped my pack under the awning of the campground toilet and fetched my car, reaching the hiker's parking lot at 13:35. We drove down Highway 168 under sleet and hail. (A 4:11 hour day).

Photos:

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