North Guardian Angel

20-Sep-97 (Private Trip)

By: Linda McDermott


Tom Sumner needed peak #96, one which had eluded him a few times. I had climbed So. Guardian Angel over 20 years ago, never dreaming I would eventually need North. Vic and Sue Henney plus Tom and I met Ted Brasket, Jeanette Vincent and her son Ken Hedges (all three driving from Colorado for this peak) about 9:00 am on Saturday, Sept. 20 for the climb. Vie. Sue, Tom and I had camped the night before at the corral, about a mile off the freeway. on the Moapa trailhead road - nice choice except that we had to watch lightning that evening to the north.

Ted, Jeanette and Ken had set up the first two roped pitches the previous day, trying to lessen the time going up for the large group. On his way back to the trailhead after retrieving left-behind gear, Ken had trouble with his car and had to abandon it for the moment (the climb was more important) to hitchhike with Jeanette to the trailhead and eventually join us at the base of the roped pitches. The climb to the base of the peak was on use trail all the way to the slabs. It was a stairway on the slabs to the base of the fust two roped pitches. With Ted acting as belayer, the group got up the pitches then used two more fixed ropes and a sling at exposed places before reaching the top. Ted, Jeanette and Ken seemed to enjoy the constant bantering of those less sure-footed creatures on the climb. We eventually called ourselves the "Chicken Brigade" (Vic was excused from the group).

We used the fixed ropes again on the way down the peak, plus were able to easily rappel the two last pitches. Although there were a few raindrops for only a few seconds, the cloud cover held and the weather never gave us a problem - luckily we were between storms in the area.

Besides the wonderful job of leading the trip which Ted (4 times up now), Jeanette (also 4 times) and Ken provided, an extra event occurred for which I will be eternally grateful. Ken made an extraordinary videotaped recording of the entire climb - his professionalism shows constantly in the film. I figure I'11 be able to smile at the video when I'm 100 and sitting in a rocking chair (I should be climbing until age 99).

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