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My fun meter was pegged!
– Chad Alber

Climbing Mount Griggs, August 11, 2004

Starting up Mount Griggs Under a cloud-shrouded sky, we begin our 6,000-foot ascent up Mount Griggs

Brad Alber follows dad Chad up one of the initial slopes

You can see our campsite above the photo’s left center
Jobe Wymore and Rick Trujillo head up the huge hill Jobe Wymore and Rick Trujillo head up the huge hill toward the summit-consuming cloud

The tuff was easy to walk on and held a step like snow

In spite of our tracks, Rick carries a GPS in his left hand to protect our retreat in this homogenous, undulating landscape
Rick Trujillo striding toward the still-huge upper mountain Rick Trujillo striding toward the still-huge upper mountain

Griggs is an old volcano that predates the 1912 eruption, and the lighter colored tuff from the recent eruption coats Griggs’ lower slopes while the black rock higher up is Griggs’ original rock
Chad Alber taking a break in the transition zone between the recent smothering tuff and Grigg's mother rock Chad Alber taking a break in the transition zone between the recent smothering tuff and Griggs’ mother rock

Chad’s goggles, besides looking cool, provide eye protection against the blowing tuff, which can clobber your contacts in a second

Mount Mageik floats across the valley under a distant but encouraging patch of blue
Rick Trujillo and Jobe Wymore in the transition zone Rick Trujillo, one of the best exploration geologists in the US, explains one of the many fine points about the extraordinary area that we have placed ourselves in
We headed toward the 6,150-foot saddle west of the summit massif Under an improbable but pervasive patch of blue overhead, we headed toward the 6,150-foot saddle west of the summit massif
Above the notch, the upper mountain took on a more serious countenance What happened to the weather?
No more blue sky in sight

Above the saddle, the upper mountain took on a more serious countenance
Grigg's smaller inner crater Griggs has two craters which are concentric on the large summit area’s west side

Pulling over the edge, we found the smaller inner crater

You can see an active fumarole near the yellow sulphur on the photo’s right edge
Rick on the smaller crater's rim Rick Trujillo examines the smaller crater from its rim

We knew that the mountain’s highpoint was farther east on the rim of the older, outer crater and we could just see its outline in the still swirling clouds
Brad and Chad Alber striding toward the summit along the outer crater's rim To our surprise the outer crater rim was covered with ice and guarded by a pesky bergschrund

After crossing the schrund near its north end, we were further surprised that the summit was not where the map’s highest contour indicated that it would be

Here, Brad and Chad Alber stride south over ice along the outer crater’s rim toward what we still assumed would be an easy summit
Knife Peak as we first saw it from the false summit We reached what we thought was the summit, but just before handshakes and backslaps, Knife Peak, which was clearly higher, appeared out of the clouds to the south

This view of the icy knife edge leading to the summit rocks was disheartening, since we had chosen to come here without crampons or ice axes
We retreated back under the bergschrund, and traversed south looking for a rock route up Knife Peak With our trusty ski poles poised for action, we retreated back the way we had come to an easy-angled snow slope below the bergschrund, and traversed south below Knife Peak looking for a rock route
The bergschrund below Knife Peak presented a non-trivial obstacle The bergschrund below Knife Peak presented a non-trivial obstacle, which we now had to re-cross
After crossing the schrund, Jobe Wymore heads up to take a look After crossing the schrund, Jobe Wymore heads up to take a look

We climbed the grungy 100-foot pitch above Jobe to reach a notch in the ridge south of the summit
Chad Alber, with son Brad above, negotiate the curx, Class 3 pitch on Knife Peak's southern summit rocks Chad Alber, with son Brad above, negotiate the crux, Class 3 pitch on Knife Peak’s southern summit rocks
Master Chad Alber steps carefully around the exposed corner at the top of the Class 3 pitch Master Chad Alber steps carefully around the exposed corner at the top of the Class 3 pitch
Success! Rick Trujillo, Jobe Wymore, Brad Alber and Chad Alber celebrate on the summit of Mount Griggs Success! Rick Trujillo, Jobe Wymore, Brad Alber and Chad Alber celebrate on the summit of Mount Griggs
Memorial plaque on the summit of Mount Griggs One of two memorial plaques on the summit of Mount Griggs
Looking north from the summit across the false summit where we first spotted Knife Peak Looking north from the summit down the icy ridge and across the false summit where we first spotted Knife Peak
Descending the sometimes ash-covered ice between the two craters Descending the sometimes ash-covered ice between the two craters
Gerry took the above photos on August 11, 2004
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