Camp 4 would be established further up the Kyle Canyon Road South Col, around 6000 feet. I wouldn't stay there long, and would push for the summit, oh, say, around lunchtime.
I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here.
When the morning gambling is flat, and you don't have another Jackson, there's only one thing to do. And that is to be steppin' out of the casino, to get into a car, and drive, to the other side (of the valley).
(If you get all that, you are smart.)
With my gear checked (phone, wallet, half a thing of water, package of trail mix I got at the Ellis Island slot club), I pushed up the traditional summit route, Mt. Charleston standing proudly at attention, with it's
purple helmet crest white-capped with flaky, frozen water.
Acclimatization went well, with no signs of HAPE, HACE, or any of the other climbing-related medical afflictions we pro mountaineers are prone to.
The drive up 157 past the yellow band and the Hillary Step was incredible. They definitely put up some great scenery around that road for the climbing public.
After spending a night at camp 4 (which was actually about 2 minutes, while I took some photos), it was time for the summit attempt.
|The yellow band.|
Unfortunately, I got caught up at the balcony, and didn't make the summit - cars aren't allowed up there, apparently.
Fortunately, there was a place to switch oxygen tanks and order a cheeseburger - at the Mr. Charleston Lodge and Cheeseburgers.
The burger was good, and it was the perfect time to make this trek - because the roof of the school has a permanent home for two snowblowers on it. Any roof that needs two snowblowers gets too much winter for my liking.
One of the great things about it up there was that it was a cool 74F, compared to 96F down in the valley.
The most dangerous part of any summit attempt is the return journey, and this one had its, err, pitfalls.
Without warning, all of a sudden, unexpectedly, with impending disaster snapping me to attention, I noticed the little yellow 'deflated tire' warning light that had been flashing on the dash for probably about 3 days. Apparently, I might have a low tire, or there might be something wrong with the TPMS.
A visual inspection ensued. (I looked at the tires.) All I could see was that renter after renter had docked those poor wheels bang up sideways against every curb in Vegas. They had no writing on the sidewalls anymore.
Nothing looked out of place so I continued to head down to base camp, and on to Las Katmandu.
This is the last live update, barring horrible air travel shenanigans, delays, reroutes, etc. etc. etc.
When I get back, I'll fill in all the deets with the full report - featuring more pictures of food and gambling.
See you all on the other side!!!