Ok - so it turns out that my earlier post was an under-reporting ( honestly given with the info at hand) about the rock slide above the 'Heart' of Avalanche Gulch yesterday. A boulder perched high atop the mountain fell from its ice pedastal and came bouncing down the side of the mountain splitting into two VW bug sized pieces that cascaded down toward the area where three teams of climbers were preparing to head up to Red Banks. High above them were two other teams who from their vantage point saw the boulder begin its descent and with Cathy Ann Taylor and guides shouting "ROCK" , the alert spread thru the teams. The guides flew into action and with expert assessment of its trajectory, they literally pushed, pulled and shouted the teams to safety. Their experience and the responsiveness of our climbers to their commands no doubt saved us all immeasureable heartache. Sean, the doc who was lower down w/ Jen Carr escorting a climber with altitude sickness down saw it unfold and scrambled up to assess and assist. There was some question as to Stacey Schaff's injury by the grazing boulder and Connie Zupan's bruised ribs from the efforts of guide Dane dramatically moving her out of harm's way - but it turns out neither are seriously injured. Having doc Sean on the mountain backing up the EMT trained guides made the difference in the world. I'm sure there will be many stories that come off the mountain today - from scrapes and bruises and psyche's numbed by the experience to the deep personal reflections that come from having mother nature humble us. It would seem fitting that we create the "Royal Order of Boulder-Dashers "for all who have shared in this 2007 Climb Against the Odds journey with the team members and guides holding the special charter member rank and the rest of us being honorary members. I'm thinking we need some volunteers to generate graphics for it.
With deep gratitude to Jen and Chris and the Shasta Mountain Guides and to doc Sean for protecting our very precious team. And for the butterflies that must have been up there somewhere yesterday.
Keep climbing, with love