The Index Traverse

After the Basin, we could climb on relatively clean rock. While climbing this section I kept hearing a hum sounding distinctly like that of a falling rock as it whizzes past at over 200mph. This was disconcerting, but also puzzling: I was sure there was no-one above us, and the slope was not steep enough for rocks to free fall far enough to build up significant speed. Could someone be throwing rocks? Finally, I heard the noise again but it was a steady hum. Looking over my shoulder, I saw a hummingbird; apparently the little hummers had been checking me out. What a relief!

With me leading and helping Brad on the belays we reached the summit at 7PM. This was much later than planned. We had started with 2 quarts of water each and had managed to collect more in the Basin, but we were running low again. We considered starting on to the Middle Peak, but decided to bivouac on the North Peak and continue in the morning. This picture was taken from near the same spot as the second picture in an account of a 2005 climb.