by Ethan Vimont
7 PM the night before.... I sit silently, staring blankly at a cup of water feeling very tired, and feeling proud for struggling up 17,000 feet in the last two days. I also find myself ready for a nice break the next day. I begin imagining sleeping in when Mike's very alert and not tired voice breaks in with something like: "Yowza! (this may not be an exact quote) it looks like our weather window is just about up. If we want to ski something big this week, tomorrow it is! You ready for Eagle Peak?! Boing, boing, pant, pant, vvvrrrrrrrrrrrr...." (Mike occasionally vibrates when he gets excited). Then he does a few standing backflips in his kitchen to demonstrate how excited he is for another huge day.
"Ummm... Okay." I figured asking any details in my exhausted state might talk me out of doing something silly and fun, so I decide to wait to ask those until I'd had some dinner.
After I had given my body some calories Mike informed me that Eagle Peak would involve a few mile approach, a thousand feet of bushwhacking, and a total climb of 7,000 feet. Good thing I waited to ask, but I had committed, and as any good politician will tell you once you make up your mind, you mustn't change it.
It did not disappoint, and 20 hours later we got this:
Mike and Brady just having a laugh at how much good suffering the climb had been.
Mike may be holding me up in this picture. Photo: Brady Deal
But, first we actually had to climb it. Mike had easily convinced Brady to come along. Early in the morning we headed up Eagle Valley, and began a pleasant walk along the trail which was literally a sheet of ice. We quickly reached the river, and found a handy ice bridge to skip across.
Photo: Brady Deal