Norse Peak

Over the last 11 years, I’ve learned that one simple phrase will ensure you a place on just about any winter adventure: “I like step kicking in deep snow.” And that’s how I got on yesterday’s trip up Norse Peak.

We left the TH at 9 a.m. and followed a meandering snow-covered trail up the mountain for an hour or so. Pretty soon, the slopes opened up and we got our step-kicking mojo going, taking turns as needed. A long and fairly exhausting 3 hours later, we arrived at a saddle on the wind-scoured ridge northwest of Norse Peak. After a short food break, Rena and I took over the step-kicking duties and got the team to a broad, open shoulder. Only a short, steep bump and ice-covered rocks stood between us and the summit!

Three of our team members opted to stay behind, while the remaining six of us pushed on. I was really tired and tempted to stay behind, but sometimes you’ve just got want the summit more than you want anything else that day. Remembering my failure on West Granite the previous weekend, I didn’t want to turn back twice in a row. Five hours after we left the cars we were on the summit.

We sipped tea, had some sandwiches, snapped some pictures, then retreated to gather up the rest of our team members. All I can say is thank goodness going down is so much quicker and easier than pushing your way up through deep snow. We arrived back at the cars only 2 1/2 hours after leaving the summit. All-in-all a good day in the mountains!

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