"Standing in a slide zone Falling through a time zone Steppin' in a slide zone He had me falling through a time zone"
Moody Blues 7/78
Jake and I had just started the steep climb down into the bowl of Iceberg Lake. The lake is nestled at the base of Clyde Minaret and the feeling of high mountain wilderness was all pervasive.
The lake was almost totally iced over except for a few pockets that reflected a striking blue/green color. A small cascade of water flowed into the lake.
Zo and Dingo had decided to make an attempt on Clyde Minaret. Above I thought that I heard repeated distant screams of "Test!" "Test!"
I had no idea it was Dingo screaming "Self Arrest"
After reaching the bottom, we climbed around the perimeter of the lake and followed a stream out to Ediza Lake. The stream crossings had been very tricky, the flow was heavy and fast.
At one point Jake came close to being swept away.
We hiked up to Garnett lake and returned to camp late and fatigued, having logged 17 tough miles. Dingo and Zo were anxiously awaiting us. We had told them that we were just doing Iceberg lake and would return early.
They also had quite a day and were eager to relate their adventure.
Zo took a serious fall on the snow/ice and screeched down the mountain at break neck speed for about 60' before he had the presence of mind to get his ice axe planted. He stopped fifty feet from the edge of Iceberg Lake, a 2000' drop.
He would have gone through the ice and never got.out ...dead or alive. I can
picture him with his hands and feet up, on his back, looking up through the ice. Ten thousand years from now they would have discovered the "Zo Man"
Zo, being the man he is, got up, and they continued the ascent but wisely called it quits when they hit pure vertical ice with about 1500' to go.The conditions were not right. Retreating would give them another day.
Agnew Meadows to Ediza Lake-Ansel Adams Wilderness
Many say that this area is the cream of the crop of all Sierra lakes, where amid towering evidence of mountain building and glacial action, we were in awe of the colossal forces that shaped these incredible landforms.
Ediza Lake is a true alpine beauty and a primo destination. It can be used as a base camp for day hikes or for scaling the classic peaks in the Ritter Range.
The mosquitoes were vicious!!
Ritter Range-13ers-Minarets, MT. Ritter, and Banner Peak
Dingo was a man on a mission. He had just returned from Jamaica and wanted to drive all night. He was quite disappointed that the rest of us that preferred to get some sleep.
This was unfinished business. He had made an attempt on Ritter 15 years ago and after getting most of the climb completed, his partner could not continue and they went down.
The seven mile uphill pack in was arduous. None of us had back packed in quite a while and the packs were heavy with bear canisters and alpine equipment.
Dingo was intent on nailing Ritter. The failed attempt on Clyde only fed his compulsion and I wanted no part of it, preferring death by mosquitos to a climbing fatality.
Dingo was intent on going and when I refused, he decided to go by himself. I could not talk him out of it. He got up before the rest of us and was gone. Jake and Lorenzo packed up and started down. They had a wedding to attend in the Bay Area.
I was left to worry, develop a rescue plan, and try not to go crazy with the swarms of mosquitoes on attack.
At 2:00, Dingo returned triumphant.
A great relief raced through my mind and we proceeded to cover ourselves with insect repellant and drink all the rum and tequila that should not be consumed at high altitudes or anywhere.
The next morning we packed out with packs that seemed heavier than when we came in.
At the trail head we were delighted to find our Guinness cold in the car. Even though we were totally exhausted Dingo's insatiable appetite for adventure was not satisfied and he insisted that we hike (without packs) the three miles to an impressive Rainbow Falls.
From here we drove to the legendary Golden Trout Wilderness where we explored and camped before the long drive back to Phoenix inferno.
Men Behaving Badly
-Dingo for hiking and driving like an animal just escaped from his cage.
-Dingo & Zo for no communication and not bringing a tent.
-Dingo for crying mutiny because the group wanted to stay at a hotel and drink instead of hiking in the dark with the mosquitoes.
-Dingo-For screaming "This is not a vacation! This is a climbing expedition!"
-Dingo for trying to kill Zo on the steep icy snow slope.
-Zo the fearful, for begging Lobo for a huge knife for protection against the bears and never took it out of his pack.
-Lobo for drinking his full flask of tequila and ordering everyone to get his gear and food so he would not have to leave his chair.
-Lobo for bringing his biohazard pee bottle because he was too lazy to leave his tent at night.
-Lobo for disturbing mid-afternoon valley peace by taking a cold shower, butt naked on a large rock and yelling "YEAH BABY" at the top of his lungs over and over.
-Bear for pissing all over Dingo's tire and car.
-Jake & Zo for packing out early and leaving the bear canisters and all the heavy stuff for Dingo & Lobo to carry out.