This photo was taken in February of 1974 (check out the jacket in 2010 below). My math says 36 years ago! That was a Sunday morning, and the Trail Shop had sponsored a lecture and slide show by Royal Robbins on Friday evening at Chapel Hill, after sandbagging him on the “paint stripe” bouldering problem in the old Bragtown Quarry (now the Bear Den at the Museum of Life and Science) -never climb in quarries, by the way! We then took RR to Table Rock to do Crackerjack. Burt Whicker, Jacques Geitner and I then went to the Amphitheater to camp. Burt had not planned to camp, but changed his mind, and slept in the orange North Face Sierra parka in this picture, with his own Sierra wrapped around his lower half. Burt froze his butt off, which is no surprise as my minimum recording thermometer registered 20 degrees.

I am lacing up Galibier Super Guides. We descended the Mummy ravine, skirted north around the Prow, and then along the Carolina Wall. We lunched on top of Mashburn’s Pinnacle, and Burt and Jacques left to open the store and go to work at the Hickory newspaper respectively. I bushwhacked to the river, and camped.

Next day, it began to snow while I lunched at the bottom of Spence Ridge Trail. I hiked up and around Table Rock, thru the Chimneys and down to Shortoff. That night, the temp dropped to -4! That was the night the wind blew so hard that it upset my stove while I cooked in my North Face Tuoloumne tent, spilling my stew; I waited about 15 minutes and picked up the frozen pieces and put them back in the pot, re-heated and ate!?