Sunday, June 28, 2009

Super Angie...promises kept


When I left Rick at IMG last Saturday, the other climbers gave me a hug and promised to keep my sweetie safe. Well, all the promises were kept and they all survived..>BUT BARELY!!

This was an incredible epic adventure. Something that is for sure gonna be in the mountaineering history books.

A little background. Liberty Ridge is a very technical climb. You have to carry all your gear, even on summit day. Its mostly all ice climbing too, so your skill level has to be high. Its not just an easy walk up!

The weather forecast looked PERFECT for Tuesday--summit day. Up until Tuesday, there were some storms, but things seemed okay. No real problems and Rick recalls that the climbing was just fantastic! "Out of this world" is how he described it.

On summit day, they started at 2am. Rick carried the heaviest of the team gear that day--the tent.

As they neared the summit, the weather turned HORRIBLE and on top, they had 60 mile per hour winds!! A quick summit picture was taken before total white outs. It was now 7pm on Summit day--the 23rd. For some really unlucky reason, the guide's GPS quit, and with zero visibility, they were in trouble. It took them several hours to trek down just 500 feet. It was looking grim. There were drop offs, cervasses and zero visibility. The guides weren't sure where they were going. The trail was covered and a few of the climbers started having a problem similar to snow blindness. It was almost certain, to all of them, that they would die on top of Mt. Rainier.

One guide saw some rocks and they thought, maybe they could hunker down near the rocks and get out of the constant wind. Once they were near the rocks, the realized that it was not going to happen. Suddenly, at 10pm, one of the climbers spotted a 4 foot hole. An ice cave. One guide rappelled into the cave about 20 feet and found a nice platform. 5o deeper from that, they found a huge "room". It was big enough that they were able to set up 2 tents! So, the group of 5 descended deep into Mt. Rainier. It was a pretty constant 32 degrees inside the completely frozen cave. They had to continue to wear their crampons because it was all ice--picture pitching a tent in the middle of an ice rink. (remember, they had been awake since 2am!)

So, now they were out of the storm, which was good, but how long would the storm last? Would they need to stay in the cave for more then a day? If so, they would run out of fuel and food. The rationing began. Instead of heating ice for water, they caught water dripping and used that for drinking. The ate food that would take the least amount of water to digest. Hypothermia started in. Everyone and everything they owned was wet. The good the cave, the GPS and the radio worked, so they were able to radio out their location.

Further down the mountain, a group was climbing the Emmons glacier. It was their summit day, but at around 12,000 feet, they bailed, knowing the weather on top was not favorable. Two of their 4 guides continued up on a rescue mission looking for Rick's group. They reached the climbers at 10:30am on the 24th (WHICH WAS RICK'S 50th BIRTHDAY!!!), so Rick's group had been in that cave, slowly dieing, for 12 hours. The rescuers had left their camp at 2am, so they were pretty tired when they got to the cave.

These two rescuers, weren't really "rescuers", meaning they didn't have any food or anything with them. They were two guides that were taking a group to the summit--so their packs (as is the normal case on summit day) were light, with only snacks, a bit of water and a larger puffy to wear on the summit. But at least these guides had hiked up to the cave and would know the way down.

After an hour, they all climbed out of the cave to find the weather about the same. The descent was slow and they had some problems getting past some large cervasses. They rolled into camp Shermon at 7pm.

The guides at camp shermon and the other climbers were welcoming, doing first aid on one climber's eyes and helping them take off their crampons. Hot water and food was given to all. At 8pm, Rick went to sleep.

Meanwhile, I was sitting at my parent's house in Issaquah. I always like to call Rick's guide companies to find out how they are doing and wondering what day and time they might be back. So, on the 24th I called. I thought they might be done since the forcast had been so good for the 23rd. This is how my phone conversation went:
Hello, IMG, ____speaking.
Hi, this is Angie Miske. My husband is on the Liberty Ridge climb and I'm just checking in to see how they are doing and if they will be down today or tomorrow?
Um...let me have you talk to George and you guys can chit chat about that.
Hi Angie.
Hi George. So, how are they doing? Do you think they'll be down today or tomorrow?
Well, they all summited yesterday, but have ran into bad weather on the summit, so they are spent the night up there.
Um, they only had 3 days of food with them.
Yes, they will have to do some rationing, but there is a group going up the Emmons glacier and they will meet them and give them some more food.

LOL thats about the whole conversation.
I didn't think too much about it.

On the 25th, I got a call from Rick that the had a "interesting" time and he would leave it at that until I picked him up. I was invited to go out to a celebrating dinner with them in Ashford. Thats when the whole epic event was re-told to me.

Rick made it out alive. He survived with only a numb toe, some bad sun burns and very puffy lips. He is a different person now. Everyone in the group honestly thought they were going to die. One guide even said he was considering getting an office job and giving up guiding and mountaineering. Rick had some extremely spiritual moments on the mountain.

Through all of this...I have decided I will try climbing the mountain (via a much easier route) in late August of this year.

--Super Angie

Super Angie...Father's Day

I'm catching up on pics from the past week...

Uncle Jeff and Aunt Laura came over to celebrate Father's day and enjoy some cake. The kids got so excited to see them.
We enjoyed a BIG dinner. Thanks Mom and Dad for making such a nice spread!

This picture doesn't like me and won't flip sideways. Anyway, Dad grilled up Bratwurst. YUMMM!!!!

Go Grill Master Dad!

And the kids wore their German clothes to church that morning. Doesn't Tan look so cute in her dirndel? This was the first time she wore the blue one. SO stinkin cute!
--Super Angie

Super Angie...Strawberry Days-a bit late.


Before we came to WA, we went to Strawberry Days. Just me and the kids for an hour before swim lessons. We had a BLAST!! Tan had never been to a carnival before. I enjoyed watching it all through her eyes. Of course the boys wanted to go on the dragon rollercoaster and Tan wanted to follow anything they did. So all four of us went. Tan immediatly started screaming, so I just hugged her close and talked about the other people screaming and putting their hands in the air. Eventually she settled down but did admit later that it was "scary!". Next we went on the duck ride, which borred the boys to death, but Tan LOVED it. I think Brennan and her said QUACK the entire time. :)
Tan and I settled on the grass to watch the boys do a jeep ride through the wild west. Of course the boys were laughing the whole time while talking about fighting the indians and wild things out in the desert.
Then I let each kid pick one more thing to do. Dallin chose the gunny sack slide. He went so fast and had a blast. Brennan and Tanith pick another car ride. This time, Tan cracked me up! She had her arms raised in the air, almost the entire time, like she had seen people on the roller coaster do. She was screaming with joy and smiling so big. It was just so cute.
I had a great time braving the crowds and taking my kids to the carnival. Can't wait for next year and see what new things the kids want to try.
--Super Angie

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Today is Rick's 50th birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY!!!

--Super Angie

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Super Angie...Wendy, Awsumb, a bump on the nose and a fever

Tan with Wendy before she offered her some gum
Tan with Wendy after Wendy gave her gum. Notice how much nicer Tan is actting?
What a moody girl! lol

Today, we met up with my good friend Wendy and her son Awsumb at one of my favorite places, Grasslawn Park. I drove the long way from Issaquah to Redmond via West Lake Samamish parkway. Ah, stunning! Anyone have an extra 2 Million dollars so I can buy a waterfront home please? Anyway, then we drove by Ben Rush Elementary, where I went to school and of course we drove by my old house. Its UGLY now. Dumb new owners!

Then onto Grasslawn. Man, this park ROCKS. I can't beleive how much it has changed. The new baseball fields ROCK and the playgrounds are great. We met up with Wendy and Awsumb and had a picnic under a tree and then the kids played their little hearts out. It was so nice to catch up with Wendy. The kids all picked up right where they left off last time we visited and just had a great time.
After a while on the big playset, we went over to the fountain area and allowed the kids to get soaked. Tan ran around in only her diaper. It was cute. When we were getting ready to leave, something happened and Dallin and Tan collided with Tan's nose hitting the corner of the picnic bench. It immediatly started bleeding, so we decided to go to Wendy's to get some ice. The kids were bummed we were leaving the park, but soon they were playing happily at Wendy's. Tan didn't like having the ice on her nose, and instead found some toys. The boys LOVED Awsumb's toys and made themselves quite at home. This was great because it allowed Wendy and I to talk talk talk. It was really nice to be with a good friend and just to chat. :) The kids played outside and ate popsicles and then suddenly, Dallin had a fever and was very latharic. So, we got him some tylenol and packed up to head home.
Phew! It was a really busy afternoon, but so much fun!
--Super Angie

Super Angie..Keep Clam

Yesterday, my dad stepped in to watch the kids so my mom and I could go to University Village in Seattle to go to H&M. When I lived in Germany, I would shop all the time at H&M, so I was excited to go to one in Seattle.

After we parked and started walking towards H&M, I realized I was in HEAVEN!!!! A Juicy Couture store was RIGHT NEXT DOOR to H&M. Ah....

Well, of course, I couldn't pass it up and neither could my wallet. LOL I got a new Juicy warmup hoodie and a shortsleeve one as well. Oh yeah, and some lip gloss. :) I just love JUICY. Such a happy store.
Then onto H&M and it felt like I was back home in Germany. So many cute styles, I just HAD to try on 14 things! lol I only bought 3 shirts.
By now, my mom and I were hungry, but on the way to ZAO (a Japanese Noodle place) we passed by LUCY. Ah, I love LUCY too and found a great sale on shirts and a pair of pants that would be great for hiking. Yea! :)

We enjoyed our noodle lunch and then headed home.

Later, for dinner, we decided to take the whole family into Seattle and enjoy, well, what else...IVARS! I thought about BUSY JENN as we fed the seagulls and enjoyed our fish and chips. I have been going to Ivars on the waterfront since birth and yet, I never grow tired of it. (BTW Busy ya a little gift from Ivars! :) ) The kids were SOOOO excited to feed the seagulls, see the ferry and the fire fighting boat. We just had so much fun being together. :)
Ah, I just love being "home" in Seattle. Except, my allergies are WAY worse here then they are in Utah. How strange!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Super Angie...Mt. Rainier

Yesterday we arrived in Seattle and met my parents at the airport. The kids ran through security to hug Pop (my dad). Gaga (my mom) was there too, of course.
They brought both cars so we could all fit and off we went in the general direction of Mt. Rainier. We stopped for lunch in Puyallup and then my parents took the kids to Northwest Trek for a fun time with the animals. Rick and I drove down to Ashford )stopping in Elbe for YUMMY blackberry ice cream. In Ashford, we made the traditional stop at the Whiteker mountaineering store. Oh man...we could have spent thousands of dollars in there--new puffys, Scarpa boots, Mammut and Marmot brands, First Ascent, RMI logo shirts. much COOL stuff. Its really fun to go to a store like this that caters exclusively to people climbing big moutains. I really wanted to try on some Scarpa Phantom 6000 boots (I have the Phantom Lite) but I refrained. Sad. I did however pick up some birthday gifts for Rick.
Then we drove down to IMG headquaters. This will be Rick's third trip with IMG (Kautz route on Rainier last year and ice climbing in Ouray a few years ago). He already knows his one guide, Jeff and was happy to be re-united. They invited me to stay for the info meeting which was really fun. I have never met any of his past guides or the other climbers, so this was cool.
(Jeff is in Orange, Claudio is in red)
(Rick listening to the info and gear meeting) Jeff has a great sense of humor and joked about the mountain blowing up, people dropping gear, not taking avalance beacons and hoping its not a mistake...Everyone was in a great mood as he went over all the gear he is taking.

Then it was time for the climbers to get all their gear out, to be sorted and looked at. :Liberty Ridge is an interesting route (and the hardest guided route on the mountain). The route is straight up climbing and because of this, the weight of your pack needs to be kept at extreme minium. Because Jeff knows Rick and has climbed with him before, he allowed Rick to take these boots, instead of the heavier ones. And because I stuck around for this meeting, I was able to load up all his extra gear.
I simply adore Anne. She arrived wearing short shorts and UGG boots--totally stylin hiker chic! LOVED IT! She has three kids (same ages as ours) and is passionate about climbing. She also thinks I'm a "rock jock" which was flattering. I'm glad her and Claudio are going with Rick on this. Looks like a great group!
Rick's stuff before he packed it in his pack.
A big THUMBS UP from Rick--all his gear looks good to go. It was time to say goodbye and be on my way to Issaquah to meet my parents. I got a big hug from Anne and everyone promised to take care of my sweetie. I forgot to tell them all that Rick's 50th birthday is on summit day. I hope he has a great birthday on the mountain.

On the way home, I stoped again in Elbe to get more ice cream (I bad of me!!) and take a picture of this darling little historic church. Then on my way to Issaquah, thankful the whole time that the freeways in Utah are not as congested and have way more lanes then here in WA.
I got a call from Rick at night, but since you only have cell reception in certain spots on Ashford (like standing on your right leg, at the Whiteker store, closing one eye and holding your breath) we didn't get to talk. So we texted instead and said our goodbyes. I'm really excited for Rick to make this climb. Liberty Ridge is a very technical climb and I know he is up for it.
Yea! Its fun to be back "home".
--Super Angie

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Super Angie...Timp Cave

When my parents were visiting a few weeks ago, my dad and brother Jeff took Brennan on a hike up to Timpanogas Caves. He REALLY loved going in the cave, meeting Ranger Nick, wearing the ranger hat and being with his Pop and Uncle. What a great trooper he was for hiking all that long way.

Thanks Dad for the pics!
--Super Angie

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Super Angie...heading to Seattle soon

I can't wait! We are heading up to Seattle this weekend! Rick will be climbing Mt. Rainier (Liberty Ridge route) and I get to hang out with my parents!

We will celebrate Rick's big birthday a few days after he gets down from the mountain.

Rick and I are taking a short little "get-a-way" to Leavenworth to relax and also go rock climbing in some of Washington's finest cliffs. We're both excited for that.

I'm hoping this unusual Seattle warmth will hold out, so we can swim in the lakes. Also a trip to the Ocean and a ferry ride to Whidbey Island are in store. :)

Rick goes home early and the kids and I will stay until the 4th of July.

Hoping to join up with friends in the area and have some park outtings!

--Super Angie

Monday, June 15, 2009

Super Angie...things I enjoy

Singing to my favorite CD in the car--really loud!

Thinking about my friend's parents who are on a mission, and fully knowing the gospel is true and the same everywhere.

Bouldering at the gym and getting such a great workout.

Seeing Brennan learn how to relax and float on his back.

Watching Dallin make new friends and use his imagination.

Singing hymns at church.

Eating chocolate covered cinnamon bears--YUMMMMM.

Visiting companion rocks and our sisters are awesome.

Pushing my body to work harder then it has and then seeing the results as my clothes fit better.

Maggie Moos ice cream.

Drinking water.

Cuddeling with my cute husband.

Laying in the hamuck.

Chatting with my neighbors.

Giggleing with my kids.

Smiling and laughing.

--Super Angie

Super Angie...more fish stories

Today, Brennan started a week of private lessons with Josh Daniels in P.G. I LOVE coming to their pool and love the style Josh has for teaching. Anyway, Brennan did excellent today, finally getting his breathing down and his back float. He also jumped off the diving board for the first time.

Its so fun to see him learning to swim and I enjoy our one-on-one time!

-_Super Angie
Brennan, I'm SOOOO proud of you!

Super Angie...pee-u! Whats that smell?

The night the boys caught their fish (9!!), Rick cooked them up and we all enjoyed. The rainbow trout actually tasted REALLY good, but I was grossed out by the sight of the fish and the smell. YUCK!

--Super Angie

On Belay

On Belay
Brennan Top Roping

Climb On!

Climb On!
Dallin top roping