"The Improbable Enchainment" - West Ridge of Lundin Peak via Guye Peak's Improbable Traverse, October 2004
I was feeling guilty for not having made the most of the short spell of great Indian Summer weather we were having this Fall. I had Monday free and put a call out to Paul to see if there was anything of interest the both of us could climb together. Due to the shorter days, mounting "sleep pressure" thanks to a long summer of climbing and alpine starts, and logistical considerations (Paul would be driving over from Leavenworth), we agreed to limit our scope to peaks near the I90 or HWY2 corridors. I was interested in doing Guye Peak's Improbable Traverse but Paul had just done it recently with Tony Tsuboi. His appetite was lacking for something as moldy as a repeat of Guye Peak. Paul had always wanted to do Lundin Peak's West Ridge having failed to do it twice before. As a compromise, we agreed to do both. That's right: Lundin's West Ridge by way of the hard route up and over Guye's West Face. We would call our little adventure "The Improbable Enchainment." Paul could then lead the improbable traverse pitch this time as he had not done so with Tony. There was just enough novelty in combining two short day trips into one last end-of-season hurrah to keep me entertained...if not a bit exhilarated.
I found Paul diligently brushing his teeth when I rendezvoused with him at the PCT trailhead parking area. We transferred gear into my car and continued down the Alpental Road to the chalet street turnoff. We drove up the chalet hill for about four blocks to where the main street turns sharply right. A large gravel area on the corner here offers ample parking. There is a tall "No Parking, Violators Towed" sign at one end of the gravel area but it is most likely only for winter. I parked there last time all day and the car was there when we got back, but park at your own risk. Just to play it safe, I chatted with a few "locals" that congregated at one end of the pullout for what seemed like a daily ritual of coffee and gossip. The consensus was that I probably wouldn't get towed - at least these fellows weren't going to call the tow truck on me, though they did point out that "...they pulled a stiff from there last year", referring to the large talus fan below Guye's huge West Face. Ahh...just what I needed to hear. Hey, thanks guys! (more...)
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