Dick Kegel

My Adventures with John

John, Bruce Gibbs and I were planning to do a two day ridge run somewhere north of the town of Index with some obscure un-climbed bump along the way. We left John's car at the end of the traverse and drove to the starting point. Bruce suddenly realised he might have to compete on a mad dash with a charging Rhino and leaping Kangaroo and decided a peaceful Giraffe would be better off sleeping so he went home. John and I encountered a few technicalities along the ridge which kept the Rhino in check but the downhill stretches were a brutal competition with the Kangaroo vainly trying to keep the Rhino in sight. We made the summit of the un-climbed bump and dropped down to a brush filled valley, and then to a rock filled stream. I managed to keep up with John until about half way along the stream when my boot caught between two rocks that stopped my foot while I kept going. My foot felt like it had a broken bone so I couldn't put any weight on it. John took a professional look at my foot and after deciding I would live, took off for the car which (unknown to me) was about a mile away. I discovered that I could make some progress with an extreme limp but I was comforted in the knowledge that John would come back for me after a day or two of waiting at the car. A couple of hours later I managed to limp to the car where John was patiently waiting. I very much prefer the Bulger rules where you assume everyone can take care of themselves rather than the suffocating Mountaineer rules which are so inhibiting.

Coming down the ridge from Spire Peak I was racing John down a Heather slope. He realized I was hot on his tail so he proceeded to do a STANDING GLISSADE on the heather. I had never seen anyone do this but I tried it and it worked.

Another time John was leading our party down a ridge from Shark Peak in Boston Basin with me close behind. When the snow ended in thick brush John stopped to put on his leather gloves. This reminded me of the scene in the movie "Bullet" where the bad guy realized Steve McQueen was determined to catch him so he strapped on his seat belt. The race was on. With super human effort I managed to keep the Rhino in sight.

Another time I was following John along a ledge above a snow field. The ledge stopped with no where to go except for a 10 foot verticle drop. I was trying to figure out how to climb down when John solved the problem as he leaped down onto the snow.

My trip with John on Lost Peak where he completed his 100th peak of the "Top 100" Bolger list in early July convinced me that it was a worthwhile endeaver. Until then I thought that it was much better to do interesting climbs instead of remote but trivial peaks. I realized that the adventure of exploring remote peaks where you are unlikely encounter another living sole was very satisfying. At the time I had 41 of the top 100 using my previous philosophy. At the end of the year I had 82. The next year I finished the list. John later led me up Cascade for my 100th peak on the "Home Court 100" list.

Dick (Kangaroo) Kegel