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Ascent of Mount Langley on 2010-08-08

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:see trip report(a)
Date:Sunday, August 8, 2010
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Langley
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:13500 ft / 4114 m

Ascent Trip Report

See Trip Report for Upper Cottonwood Cirque HP for details leading up th final acclimation attempt.

Seeing that relief was on its way. I left Ben still recovering from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) at the HP (around 13,390) and scrambled up to 13,500 feeling much better now after an hour rest and took pictures of the rest of the team coming down from summitting Langley. Nate and Marc were the first two to summit followed by Hernan 15 minutes behind and Wayne the steady plow horse 30 minutes behind the lead. Nate came down first and offered some water to Ben. We gathered as a team and I was feeling pretty good now but was too late to summit and still deal with moving camp. We left in a hurry for Old Army Pass as several others were now also feeling the affects of the altitude since it was less than 24 hours since us Florida boys were all at sea level.

On the way down Wayne and Marc also started to complain of dizziness and headaches and dehydration so we rushed to the lakes at the bottom of the the pass. Nate who summitted so stongly with Marc was now having dehydration and AMS and slowly came down the pass. Hernan and I took out a filter and made several quarts of water. Ben ended up using 7 quarts total for the day! By the time we made camp all but Hernan had experienced some AMS or dehydration. It was decided that sleeping at 11,000 was not the best medicine that we might have overclimbed our first day to acclimate - and would cause us to have to break camp at like 4 AM to make the portal in time so we busted back to camp and began to break it.

Thunderclouds rolled in as most wanted to rest. We barely broke camp in time as the weather rolled in and we were pelted with snow for most of the way down. By the time we were still 2 miles out from the car even Marc and Hernan (who never complain about anything) were admitting that they were ready to get the heck down and recover from headaches caused by our altitude. We finally made the car late in the afternoon and headed down. There were no hotels in town with vacancy. Worse off - Ben's boot had completely disinigrated and he hiked down in my new Keene water shoes. We purchased some super glue and duct taped his boots back together and found a campsite near the portal. Exhausted we made a camp at EL 3,500 feet and I conserved my energy and slept in the car.

We all pumped fluids that night and in the morning and drank plenty of Gatorade and recovered fine. Our trip up the mountaineers route of Whitney was far more stenuous the next few days but all felt better once properly acclimated and we all summited (see trip report for Whitney)with no further problems in the following days.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:480 ft / 146 m
    Elevation Loss:3840 ft / 1170 m
    Distance:10.1 mi / 16.2 km
    Grade/Class:3,2,1
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, Clear
went from sunny to cold and snowed on the way down
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:240 ft / 73 m
    Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Route:scramble route Langley
    Trailhead:col at base of cirque HP  13260 ft / 4041 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:3840 ft / 1170 m
    Extra Gain:240 ft / 73 m
    Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route:Old Army Pass to Cottonwood Lakes Tr.
    Trailhead:Horseshoe Meadow Parking lot  9900 ft / 3017 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Langley (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Upper Cottonwood Cirque High Point2010-08-08 a
2(Attempt) Mount Langley2010-08-08 b



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