Magic Mountain - South Ridge, August 2008
The sound of distant rock fall was at once frightening and a relief. I turned to look at Eric and could tell by the expression on his face that he wasn't thrilled with the prospect ahead of us. What happened to our motivation? Was it a full moon the night before? Was that why we had the nightmares? Dreams of falling, drowning and most bizarre of all a mountain goat jumping off our heathery perch only to fall to its death. Where did the two cowboys on horseback come from? Why were they asking about the dead goat? It was an odd night indeed. No one stirred when the dreaded alarm clock rang. It felt as if I'd gotten all of five minutes of sleep.
Standing at the notch in the North Ridge of Mixup Peak a few hours later, my mind was no more at ease. Unable to shake the persistent dizziness, I glanced again at the beast before us. It sure looked steep and distant from our vantage point, thanks in large part to foreshortening. "Do we really want to do this?" I asked Eric. Before he could respond, the first of two rumbling rockslides somewhere high on the peak settled the matter for us. Judging by Chris and Tai's wide eyes, I gathered they were of the same mindset. And with that, our first pathetic attempt at climbing Johannesburg Mountain came to an end. (more...)
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