Friday, July 23, 2010

Mt. Warren (Pk. 3300+) via Fox/Warren Creek

Days of rain and self-pity at Salmon Lake (above, looking north), folded up between the mountains, the lake, the fog, and the DELUSION that I AM THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.  On the third day I left the cabin, with a compass and a map of the Fox Creek area downloaded on a very feeble short-term memory, and headed east into the hills, having decided to provide my little summit-grubbing ego with a tiny nub of consolation:  a peak lying on the divide between Warren Creek (a tributary of Fox Creek which drains into Salmon Lake) and the Southeast Fork of Crater Creek:  Peak 3300+. 
Looking up Warren Creek (above)...   Madness quickly set in, claustrophobia.  Locked in a cell of fog all day, the brain is receiving inputs from four of the senses that the mountains are all around, but no fifth sense, no visual.  You can feel the mountains like a phantom limb.  It's disorienting, like Neo and Morpheus standing in the construct.  The obligatory Grizzly dissolved into and out of the view for a moment, precipitating much irrational fear and unnecessary detouring.

Several miles in from the Kougarak Road, the slopes began to rise, up and up.  Vapors, nothingness, sensory deprivation.  Onset of hallucinations.  Voices.  I had had too much caffineated GU.  The compass was constantly in play.  Fortunately, the terrain was matching the feeble brain download.  The summit of Pk. 3300+ (or Warren Mt., as I had started to call it) finally appeared through the fog (left).  As is usual with Kigluaik summits, the north side dropped off into chasms, while the south side provided a Class II walk up.   
This is supposed to be a picture of the fearsome drop off to the north (right), but as you can see, the image is nothing more than fuzzy shapes on a sheet.  Standing there, you could feel the space beneath your feet registering as a tingle in the solar plexus region (where lie the sensitive organelles in the electromagnetic energy body that register the sense of vertigo) but without the corresponding visuals, the feeling lacked adrenal punch. 

This, then, is the theme:  a mountain, and a sensibility, truncated by fog.  Follow the lines in this picture of Mt. Warren from the north (above), taken on a subsequent gear-ferrying trip up Crater Creek.  Extrapolate where the apex of Warren Mt. must be. Thus, our mind throws a veil over the peaks of our enlightenment.  Nothing has changed much for a week.  Reality shrouded.  Sanity diffused.  Motivation muted. Tarps dripping.  Poor American:  his belly is full, but he still finds something to complain about...


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