Friday, January 18, 2013

The Great Silence (AKA Matterhorn Peak: Summit Views 5/7)

“So we unpacked our packs and laid things out and smoked and had a good time. Now the mountains were getting that pink tinge, I mean the rocks, they were just solid rock covered with the atoms of dust accumulated there since beginningless time. In fact I was afraid of those jagged monstrosities all around and over our heads.
'They're so silent!' I said.
'Yeah man, you know to me a mountain is a Buddha. Think of the patience, hundreds of thousands of years just sitting there bein perfectly perfectly silent and like praying for all living creatures in that silence and just waiting for us to stop all our frettin and foolin.'“(Kerouac, Jack. Dharma Bums. New York: Penguin Group, 1986, Pgs. 66-67)

The final scramble to the summit.
In the range of about 5-7 hours from the trailhead, one gets to the summit. The actual summit is not very big at all. It is just a bunch of jagged rocks with one rock sticking out a little higher than the others. Technically speaking, you probably can only get one or two people on top of it at one time. One has to be somewhat careful here as the drop offs are rather dramatic and instant death. There was one rock that I remember was rather loose when I stood on it.
This is looking toward the north along Sawtooth Ridge. It turns out the point I stood on in this picture is the highpoint. That rock just off to the right in the front is what you see down below, but the highest point is behind it.
Moving counter-clockwise you can see Peeler Lake down below and then Tower Peak in the background.
Counter-clockwise again, you can see Finger Peaks and what is called Slide Canyon...see the slide on the mountainside?
Starting to look more of the south side. The heart of Yosemite is in the background on the left side. I’ll finish up the views in the next blog.