Katzenjammer: Judges Route on Mount Arrowsmith

~submitted by John Young

January 1, 2019

This was probably my tenth ascent of Mt. Arrowsmith in the last 15 years for the annual “Katzenjammer” on New Year’s Day. Another great start to the new year.

We started at 8 a.m. with an unattractive approach on the logging spur


We reached snow within an hour, though


My 76 year-old friend Gus, still trucking after all these years!


And the going got steeper


Beautiful ice towards the top


By 11, we lost our view of the valley


More spectacular ice


And impressive rime


Once we broke out of the trees, the wind picked up. We didn’t stay long on the summit!

And now, all we had to do was go down. Easy, eh? Not so! There was another group of 12 who had descended ahead of us, and for the last hour the trail was hard-packed and the thin layer of snow was icy. Slippery! I had put crampons on but took them off about 1/2 way down, and should have put them back on, but, I thought, the ice can’t be for much longer. How wrong I was! Although I had a few slips, I escaped unscathed. Unlike one hiker in the other group – a separted shoulder and multiple fractures! I’m glad I can still get out and do this, but as I said to my friend Chris at the end of the climb, “I’m either going to have to do more of this or none at all.” I was exhausted, and sore, at the end. But, a day later, I’ve forgotten that, and only remember the satisfaction that comes from climbing a mountain.

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