“I come from a long line of sturdy women.”
I considered Chip’s genetic disposition as I glanced at him across the trailhead parking lot. Here was a veritable Viking of a man, with fair skin, bright blond hair and calf muscles more angular than a Scandanavian seafaring vessel. Before me stood a displaced Norseman, with backpack loaded, trekking poles in hand, geared up and ready to attempt Mt. Langley, the Sierras Nevada’s southern-most 14-er.
All had flown Westward to participate in this Summit For Someone climb. Owned by Big City Mountaineers, the Summit for Someone program is a mountaineering fundraiser. By raising money to support week-long wilderness expeditions for inner-city youth, climbers get to participate in a climb of their own. In our case, the goal was Mt. Langley. Fellow SMI guide and partner-in-crime Sara Matisse and I were the appointed guides, aka “Locals-in-the-Know.”
The interesting twist this time around was the presence and testing of some brand new technology. Product and Design Manager for DeLorme, vendor of fine GPS products and technologies, Chip Noble had in tow a suite of new toys. Having recently partnered with the satellite messaging company Spot Inc, DeLorme is now developing technology that allows friends and family to not only track your progress in the wilderness, but also receive e-mails and text messages. Updates to Facebook and Twitter are also part of the package. Can you say “Social Networking?” Ahem…from the middle of nowhere?!
The trip was a blast. Our camp at High Lake (11,400′) is an idyllic High Sierra paradise, nestled into a golden granite cirque below New Army Pass. High Lake itself has to be one of the most inviting high alpine lakes I’ve ever jumped into, and everyone got their turn. Granted, the melting snowfield adjacent to the lake has been keeping the water temperature down slightly, but all emerged with a clear head, a ruddy face and, in a few cases, a string of expletives not entirely appropriate for this family channel.
John, Mike, Steve and Chip- many thanks for a great 3 days in the High Sierra. Granite and glaciers are best shared with good company, good spirits and good humor, and this climb had all three.