We started our summit climb at 3:45am. In the actual photo you can see the darker outline of Big Dave in the black. We had taken a break and Dave had turned off his light. Mike, Dave, and I were the last rope team in the group that morning.
Looking west as the sun was coming up.
The group was moving up slower than we had predicted. Here we take a rest before climbing on up further. Chas' comment the day before (when he was scouting) was to call the route 'sporty'. It was that for many of the first time glacier climbers.
There were some stepper segments in the climb.
One of the things that slowed us down was an ice ridge that had fairly good exposure on the far side. Since this was our first real day in using crampons, the group was not as skilled as it needed to be to just hussle over this section. Several days further into the course, I think we would have all had no problems with this section.
Mike is stopped next to Will in the next rope team. Eric is at the front of the second rope team. You can see Chas placing protection on the ridge up a head.
Chas is setting up a guide rope for people to use while ascending. Andrew has moved above Chas. To the right of the ridge, there was a shelf which our rope group had moved into so that Mike could help with the setup. The drop off is on the other side of the ridge.
After making it over the ridge and up some steep ice, we reached the crater rim. It was decided to head back at this point, instead of trying for the summit. It was getting late and we had crossed a number of bridges that we were not fully confident would be safe to cross if we tried them later.
Looking into the crater from the rim. Sulphur gas rises on to the right.
Looking across the crater.
Looking across the rim. Andrew, Dave, and Mike on the rim.
On the rim looking over at the lower summit.
Looking from the crater rim back down at the railroad grade and the Easton glacier.
A stop on the way back down. A better photo of Dave at the end of the rope.
Looking West again on the way back to High Camp.