NVG and I dayhiked the Mountaineers’ Route yesterday. It took 15 hours, but at 73, I’m just not as fast as I once was. Getting old sucks, but it beats the alternative.

Conditions were about as good as you could hope for in late April. The weather was nice all day. There was almost no snow before Lower Boy Scout Lake. There was considerable snow between Lower and Upper Boy Scout Lakes, but it was still mostly bare ground. There was somewhat more snow going up to Iceberg Lake. It was all snow from Iceberg Lake to just below the top of the chute. The Final 400 still had snow, but there was more rock than snow.

We only used crampons and axes in the chute. Stiff boots and ski poles were all we needed below Iceberg Lake. The snow was reasonably firm all day. No major postholeing anywhere, and no real ice. The chute wasn’t packed completely, but it wasn’t bad either. By the time you read this, it should be pretty well packed.

We rarely touched the snow going up and down the Final 400. That wasn’t easy, since there is still considerable snow, wet rock, and wet sand on the rock. I didn’t see any real ice. Other climbers were going up and down the snow as much as possible. I saw one other guy on the rock. When I commented on him being the only one using the rock, he felt the need to explain. You see, he did the entire ascent using MICROspikes! I asked him if I was allowed to call him a dumbshit. He laughed, and said, “Yes!”

I hope this helps anyone going up soon. As you’ve heard countless times, conditions can change fast, so be prepared for whatever the mountain throws at you.