Mt. Lincoln
14,286 ft.
(Cameron Amphitheater)

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending how you look at it, I do not have pictures of this attempt. The goal of this particular climb was to see how our bodies reacted at altitude. The plan was to hike into the Cameron Amphitheater and set-up camp for the night at 13,100 feet. The next day, we were going to attempt to summit Lincoln via the Russian Couloir.

Conditions on the mountain that particular day were not ideal. Winds were blowing in excess of 45 mph during our accent. Gusts of more than 60 mph would occasionally stop us in our tracks. After about 4 hours of climbing, we made it to the Amphitheater and began to set-up camp. We dug a snow pit  about 3 feet down and created a dugout for the tent. After getting the tent set-up, which wasn't an easy task in the high winds, I did a recon of the Russian Couloir. After climbing to about 13,700 feet on the Couloir, I dug a pit an checked-out the snow pack. It was perfect. In the middle of March it is rare to find such good snow conditions on this particular route, so I was very pleased with our chances of making the top the next day.

It was a long night and the wind and cold didn't let up. Temperatures in the tent dropped to about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but we stayed pretty warm regardless. The snow pit sheltered us from the wind, so the tent held up fine.

At about 4:00 AM I woke up and realized that it seemed quite outside. I could no longer hear the wind, so I thought that the day was shaping up. Boy was I wrong. When I opened the fly of the tent, snow piled in and damn near buried us. Apparently, during the night, we received about 2 feet of fresh snow and the tent was completely buried under it. Outside, the storm was still going strong. 

Concerned about the new snowfall, (we were directly under the Russian Couloir and directly in its avalanche path) we decided to pack up and get the hell out A.S.A.P. By about 4:30 AM, we had the tent and our gear packed up and we began to head down the mountain. Visibility during the decent was about 2 feet and we were guiding ourselves by headlamp alone. 

We made the decent in about 2 hours and managed to dig out the truck. The ride out was no picnic either. The road was covered with several feet of snow and extremely difficult to navigate. We were pretty fortunate to make it out.

It was unfortunate that we weren't able to make the summit, but all in all, it was a pretty good winter camping experience.

Back to U.S. Page