We made it to the summit via the DC on Wednesday. It took us about 5 hours from Muir to get up and about 2.5 hours to get down. The conditions were very good and there was a full moon.
When we first arrived at Camp Muir, there was only one other climber there. We actually prepared to stay the night in the shelter. Soon the clouds parted on the Muir snowfield and "The ride of the Valkyries" cued up. There were LOTS of climbers making their way up. I mean LOTS. I didn't know what the hell happened. I planned on a nice relaxing mid-week summit with very few other climbers. After things settled out, the shelter was full. I mean like 30 people full. I left our stove in there and asked Chris if he wanted to stay out on the glacier. I think he was already down there and had the tent out by the time it left my mouth.
We pitched the tent and enjoyed the solitude of the glacier and our nice little piece of real estate. We went up and found a King 5 camera crew milling around the shelter. I talked to one of the guys and found out that there was the commissioner of the NFL and the head coach of the Seahawks doing a United Way charity climb. RMI was the guide company for the cause and we got to meet Ed Viesturs. Then we found out that Camp Patriot was there as well. Camp Patriot is an awesome organization that assists disabled Veterans in getting back into the outdoors. The NFL guys had a giant man-tourage and the Camp Patriot heroes had a couple of guides.
Needless to say, our solitude didn't last on the glacier as a Mountaineering club from the midwest moved in and a couple of other independent groups came down also. I felt like a Native Idahoan being overran by Californians.
I think some of the tents may have been made by Hubble or Corey Barton. On our summit night the tent below us kept yelling to the tent above about having a water bottle. Which is okay since when I went up to the shelter early in the morning to make coffee, it was a steady drone of snoring, coughing and farting.
The route was in really good shape. There was a nice bootpack all the way up. There were about four or five crevasses to cross. Only one required a jump.
I was concerned with rockfall since it was coming down off of the Cleaver and had injured a climber the day before we arrived. We roped in short and moved fast through the more hazardous areas.
There was some pretty good sized blocks coming down off of the Cathedral Gap. A refrigerator sized chunk missed a party by about ten feet.
I think that the summit crater is the longest 1/4 mile a person can walk...
There were about 10 independent parties including us and 5 summited and 5 turned back. Three of the 5 that summited were from Idaho!