Friday, August 14, 2009

Mummy's Nose: The Insane Route

Kathy and I wanted to get some exercise, find my sunglasses I lost last Sunday, and cairn the route through the ledges that everyone gets lost on eventually leads to Mummy's Nose. We did all that and a whole lot more. We started hiking around 8:30 am on Friday (8-14). Before 9 am we had found my sunglasses and were placing cairns on the ledges.

As we were making our way toward the summit I started looking at an alternative route below the summit. Instead of crossing over to the west side and following the traditional route, we stayed on the east side traversing up toward the peak. The rock was much steeper than it looked from below. We kept traversing scree filled limestone slabs. Fun. As the traverse narrowed dramatically the exposure became big time. We had to carefully, and I mean carefully, cross on a small ledge pass a drop off of several hundred feet. Once past we were still not out of the woods. We then had to downclimb to a ledge. Once on the ledge it was easier going, but we still had to be careful. The ledge was still very exposed and had scree on it.

Once we went around a shoulder things opened up and it was an easy scramble to the summit. I was relieved to see an easy route to the summit and I did not want to turn around and retrace our steps. To say the least this alternative route is NOT recommended.

Notes: If you ever wanted to due this route, now is the time. The route is very well cairned. This is a route that is much more difficult to follow when descending. You will be thankful for the cairns. The rule of thumb is to stay left when you have an option.