Looking up at the climb (The Pig)
The climbing was great. Nice ice conditions that accepted our picks and screw with minimal plating. The route took two rope-stretcher pitches to put us on top. It turned out to be a very fun warm-up route. The day wasn't over yet though. We still needed to get the hell out of the there.
Looking down from the ice
The goal is always to try and make it to the lake by dark. Of course it never happens. A storm had settled in the cirque and we new it would be getting dark early. Some rappels, down climbing, and nerve racking snow travel put us back at our trekking poles. A few hundred meters down the slope and we lost our precious light. Head lamps on, we continued to bush whack and stumble down the rocky slopes. Trying not to break our legs in the horrible terrain, we made quick progress. After many falls and a few branches thwacked us across the faces, we found ourselves at the lake and on easy ground. Ipods were turned on and the death march began. Twelve hours after leaving the car, we caught sight of it again.
We had a wonderful first day out. The climb wasn't anything difficult, but there is never a give-me in the GNP. No matter how savvy and efficient we can be, that place always kicks our ass!