Sunday, October 21, 2007

The remains of the day (Corpse Bride).

I just watched this cartoon, Tim Barton is great, as usual. Here is one great moment:

Sorry, the embedding was disabled.

P.S. Here is the lyrics:

Hey! Give me a listen you corpses of cheer
Leastles of you who still got an ear
I'll tell you a story make a skeleton cry
Of our own jubiliciously lovely corpse bride
Die, die we all pass away
But don't wear a frown cuz it's really okay
And you might try 'n' hide
And you might try 'n' pray
But we all end up the remains of the day
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
Well our girl is a beauty known for miles around
When a mysterious stranger came into town
He's plenty good lookin', but down on his cash
And our poor little baby, she fell hard and fast
When her daddy said no, she just couldn't cope
So our lovers came up with a plan to elope
Die, die we all pass away
But don't wear a frown cuz it's really okay
And you might try 'n' hide
And you might try 'n' pray
But we all end up the remains of the day
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
So they conjured up a plan to meet late at night
They told not a soul, kept the whole thing tight
Now her mother's wedding dress fit like a glove
You don't need much when you're really in love
Except for a few things, or so I'm told
Like the family jewls and a sachel of gold
Then next to the grave yard by the old oak tree
On a dark foggy night at a quarter to three
She was ready to go, but where was he
And then?
She waited
And then?
There in the shadows, was it the man?
And then?
Het little heart beat so loud
And then?
And then baby, everything went black

Now when she opened her eyes she was dead as dust
Her jewls were missin' and her heart was bust
So she made a vow lyin' under that tree
That she'd wait for her true love to come set her free
Always waiting for someone to ask for her hand
When out of the blue comes this groovy young man
Who vows forever to be by her side
And that's the story of our own corpse bride

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The color of life (is lilac).

I think in terms of defining what's possible for a human being it's a step up:

A short summary: Silvia Vidal is a renowned big-wall {very long routes on rock faces} climber, known for her extreme aid-solos of the new routes. She weights 95 pounds and is 5 feet 2'' tall (there is a photo of her if you scroll down the page that is given above). During her climb of the Shipton Spire she spent 21 days on the wall (alone, she did it solo), so she had hundreds of pounds of gear to carry and haul to the base and up the route. And the route itself is extremely difficult too (5.10 A4+ 2900 feet, grade VI).

It's as inspiring as it gets :-). Amazing!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Dymaxion Map.

As far as I'm aware, this map projection scheme is the least distorting:

The Fuller Projection Map

It's interesting to see the relative size of different continents and oceans. Neat!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The division of waters (1925). Woodcut.

One of Escher's earlier works (part of the "Seven days of creation" series). I really like it for its stunning representation of volume, especially considering the technique used. It's a woodcut printed in black ink, so there are no shades, only black and white. It's pretty amazing...

Day and night (1938). Woodcut in black and grey (two blocks).

Hydrodynamic effects in non-newtonian fluides.

A non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid in which the viscosity changes with the applied strain rate.

This gives rise to several interesting effects. The Barus effect:

The Weissenberg effect:

And my personal favorite, Kaye effect. The video is really well made, and it even demonstrates a steady-state (continuous) version of Kaye effect:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Benzene as a dienofile.

The only known example of benzene acting as a dienofile:"Perspective on Fluorocarbon Chemistry", D.M. Lemal, JOC 2004, 69(1), 1. It's a really good introductory article for anybody interested in fluoroorganic chemistry.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Reptiles, 1943 (lithograph). M. C. Escher.

Andrew's Glacier Cirque, RMNP.

I wonder if there is a route following this ridge line:And another one:

Spotting the fake smile.

Here is a really interesting test by BBC. After you get through all the smiles, it gives some pretty interesting info on distinguishing genuine and fake smiles (with videos).

SF6 (Xe?) and Archimedes.

A pretty cool twist on Archimedes:

I wonder what gas they use, it's too bad they don't say...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kiener's Route, Longs Peak (07-Aug-2007).

I remember vividly my thoughts when I first saw Kiener's Route: you got to have a death wish and/or be just damn foolhardy to do that. It was about three years ago, I wasn't doing any climbing back then. The route just looked intimidating as hell, when doing Keyhole route seemed like a major adventure. But as time went by, the super-intimidating thing started to look pretty doable, so I decided to go for it.This photo was taken in May, it's not that snowy during summer time. But it's a long route, and escape from its upper part is problematic, in case weather turns sour. Storms usually come from over the mountain, so you don't see them until it's too late. Last year two climbers got caught up there in a storm like that, and one of them didn't make it. So you got to start early and go fast.

Here is a different photo of the route, taken a week before doing it:It's a lower portion of the route, Lamb's Slide couloir. One of the great things about this route is that it has it all: you start by 40-45 degrees snow/ice couloir, then traverse the Broadway (a horizontal system of ledges), then climb some easy fifth class rock (3 pitches of 5.4 when on route, the green line on the top photo), followed by quite a bit of fourth class scrambling to the top.

To be continued...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Long's Peak solo: Lamb's Slide, Loft, Clark's Arrow (2).

Getting back to it. I got to the Loft and continued on the Clark's Arrow route. The routefinding was fun: at first I started cutting the Keyboard of the Winds too soon and ended up cliffed out. I scrambled lower and went along the Keyboard, finally (after some more interesting routefinding) getting to the top of Keplinger's Couloir. The connection between the top of the couloir and Homestretch was snow-covered and ended up being the crux of the route:The snow slope was ~45 degrees steep, with a dropoff at its bottom. As I put my crampons on and started traversing it, I found that this "snow" was mostly ice. Boy, was I glad to have borrowed a second ice-axe from Morgan! I would have to turn around otherwise, it just wasn't very safe with one ice tool and my soft boots. It took me about the same time to traverse this thing as to climb the whole Lamb's Slide, and it was exhilarating! A no-fall territory, on ice, it was fun! Very tiring though :-) . That section really took its toll on me.

After finishing the traverse I started on the Homestrech, the last section before the summit (green line on the photo above). It was pretty iced too:To keep up with the spirit of the climb, I followed the ice line (green) to the top, summiting at ~9-30am. I shared summit with only one more person, a guy from California. He told me that a day before a hiker doing Keyhole route fell on the Homestretch and broke his leg. He had to wait for six hours before being evacuated. Poor guy, six hours on the mountain with a broken leg!

After resting and snacking, I went down via the Keyhole route. On my way down I bypassed the ice on the right (pink line), I was just too tired for downclimbing ice.

The lack of sleep really caught up with me on the way down. I got only around two-and-a-half hours of intermittent sleep in my armchair, and I guess it was not quite enough :-). I was hiking to the parking lot in a strange state, with dreams getting mixed with reality. It was kind of fun though, a mild hallucinogenic experience. The best thing was a bolder that looked (just for a moment) like an intricate dark castle, with towers and everything. After 13 and a half hours of hiking, I got to the car, had some coffee and headed home. It was a great day, and I felt that the next thing on my tack list should be Kiener's.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Long's Peak solo: Lamb's Slide, Loft, Clark's Arrow.

This weekend my climbing partner was out of town, so I decided to do something long and solitary. I decided to try Long's Peak via a reasonably technical route. Enough to make it fun, but not too dangerous to solo. And to make it as solo as possible I decided to start on Monday.

In May we tried to climb Long's via a variation of the Clark's Arrow (Loft) route, where you get to the Loft by climbing Lamb's Slide to its top and then traversing the top of Flying Dutchman Couloir to the saddle itself. Last time we made it only to the top of Lamb's, so this time I decided to start really early. After leaving Fort Collins at midnight, I drove to Estes and ended up starting hiking at 1-35am, from a deserted parking lot. The moon went down by the time I got above the treeline, and I saw Milky Way for the first time in my life. That thing alone was worth all the trouble. And there was more to come ;-). The night was really dark, so I could discern the silhouette of the mountains just by the line between a starry blackness and a tar-like blackness. It was surprisingly warm, and even with the wind picking up I felt comfy in a thin T-shirt.

At 3-35am I got to the Chasm Lake, which was invisible. I could only see what my LED headlamp was illuminating, an oval spot several meters ahead of me. I thought that I'm gonna get in trouble finding my way to the Mills Glacier, but it was surprisingly easy. At 4-25am, when the sky started to change color, I was looking up the Lamb's Slide. After taking a little 15min break I put on my crampons, took one of my ice axes and started to kick steps up the couloir. The snow was perfect, firm but not icy, which made for a very fun climb. As I was getting higher, so was the sun, first turning Diamond red, and then orange. After getting above the Broadway I took some photos:
That's looking down the Lamb's Slide. After 1 hour of climbing I got to the top, from where it was easy to traverse on to the Loft. Here is the top of Flying Dutchman:Another fun and easy patch of snow that brought me to the Loft at 5-40am, with a great view of Meeker with its Flying Buttress (the prow in the center):As it turned out, this was the easiest part of the ascent. The real fun part started higher up...

To be continued.

View of the Long's peak: panorama.

Taken on May 25th, 2007:

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Только что нашел в глубинах жесткого диска:

Захожу к операм в кабинет, а как правило в любом оперском кабинете висят на стенке листочки А-4 с каким нибудь умным изречением, типа: "если вас съели у вас есть два выхода" и т.д. и т.п., сегодня прочитал:

"Трудно собирать выбитые зубы сломанными руками, когда в глазах темно.." и подпись Конфуций.

И я понял что это ментовской ремикс на известное выражение китайского философа: "Трудно искать черную кошку в темной комнате особенно если ее там нет".

Plato's "Allegory of the Cave".

что было -- то и будет, и что делалось -- то и будет делаться, и нет ничего нового под Солнцем!

It amazing what people come up with over 2000 years ago. Following an excellent tip from my climbing partner, Morgan (thanks! the advice is greatly appreciated!), I read Plato's "Allegory of the Cave". It's one piece of deserving reading!

P.S. It was a required reading for a political science class.

Wonderfully intangible: Memes.

During a very cool discussion with my boss about Richard Dawkins, I was acquainted with a concept of memes, which is a unit of cultural information exhibiting a gene-like behavior. I found the concept to be a great example of a pure "informational entity". Wonderfully intangible.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A riddle.

A man is being hanged. There is a man in the crowd of observers who is asked of his relation to the guy on the gallows. He doesn't want to admit it, so he answers in a riddle:

-Brothers and sisters I have none, but that man's father {pointing to the man about to be hanged} is my father's son.

What is the relation between the condemned and the man in the crowd?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mono-monostatic body ("GÖMBÖC").

Arnold's conjecture that convex, homogeneous bodies with less than 4 equilibria points (mono-monostatic bodies) exist was shown to be correct. In other words, it's possible to make a "come-back kid" {"ванька-встанька"} from a block of homogeneous material. So no matter how you drop it, it will straighten itself out and get on all four paws :-). Here is a page with a neat video demonstrating how "GÖMBÖC" rolls itself into equilibrium. And this Wikipedia article does a much better job of concisely explaining what this thing is (and what it does).
This picture is taken from a full paper: P. L. Varkonyi, G. Domokos Mathematical Intelligencer 2006, 28(4), 1.

P.S. Why less than four equilibria points, not just one? Because both stable and unstable equilibria count, hence gomboc has two equilibria points, not one.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Changing colors.

Here are two identical solutions of CoCl2 in aqueous HCl, left one is at ~-20C, right one is at room temperature (~20C):As the cold solution warms up, it changes color:Until both solutions become identical close to room temperature:Pink color is due to Oh-Co(H2O)62+ complex, deep-blue - to Th-CoCl42-.

{Yoshi found the experiment and made the solutions, and I sealed the stuff in the ampules.}

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


As just taken from my balcony:

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Just turn it upside down.

Absolutely awesome! {Disclaimer: watch it all the way}

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Larkhill (V for Vendetta).

From Merriam-Webster Online:
Entry Word: lark
Function: noun
Text: a time or instance of carefree fun {the kids had a grand lark at the carnival}
A good choice of the name in the movie: Larkhill.

Long's Peak view.

These photos were taken in Rocky Mountain National Park on 24th of May, 2007. It snowed during the night, so everything was covered with ~2 inches of snow. The views were outstanding. Here is a view across the road from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center:As we drove into the park, we saw Longs Peak, in winter-like snow cover:And here is a closeup. You can see the Diamond (triangular wall left off the peak) and the snow-covered north face to the right of it:More photos are coming!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

1st Flatiron, Direct East Face 5.6R.

On Saturday (3-May-2007), Morgan and I climbed the 1st Flatiron (the large rightmost formation): Here is an approximate line of Direct East Face route that we took (~300m). It is a gentle multi-pitch trad line, which we climbed swapping leads.The first pitch is definitely the crux. The climbing is easy (an easy slab 5.6), but very runout. The first belay station is at the tree (in the middle top of the photo), and it takes a 60m rope to get there. The climb is protected with two bolts in the bottom section, after that there is like 25-30m of unprotected climbing. I think there is a possibility of sticking something half-way, but I saw it when I already climbed above it, so I just went ahead. The climbing is easy, but you really don't want to fall, especially as you are getting close to the tree. Here is pitch 5 in process. The climbing is easy, but slabby, so runouts are ever-present.
Here is Morgan following this pitch. And the trees far below:The pitch 6 is my favorite, first bypassing a little overhang by going left followed by well-protected laybacks on a flake. This pitch gains the ridge. From here it took us 3 pitches of easy climbing/scrambling to get to the summit. From here it's a single 60m rope rappel to the ground. All in all it's a great route, well worth doing. You just need to be comfortable with runouts and slabs on easy terrain (5.4-5.6).

P.S. Protection: a set of nuts, a set of cams up to #4 Camalot (useful in one spot, but not necessary), and a bunch of shoulder length quickdraws.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Montezuma's Tower, North Ridge 5.7.

The tall spire is Montezuma's Tower (Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs). The first time I saw a photo of it, I just fell in love :-). There is a 5.7 route that follows the ridge line (right ridge on the picture), North Ridge. This Sunday (03-May-2007) Morgan and I did it, and the thing is just absolutely incredible. The climbing itself can't be called outstanding, but the route makes up for it hundred-fold. It is such an aesthetic line - you are following the ridge of this skinny spire, with drop offs on both sides. As Morgan put it, it's the ultimate route for fighting fear of heights. For me it was all about trusting my feet. Leading the first pitch was not that easy, since I'm not used to climbing sandstone, and a recent rain gave the rock a very slippery feel. I always had that thought that the surface layer will just slide from under my foot, sending me into a fall. But after I got used to it, leading the second pitch was just so much easier. It's interesting how leading is different from following, although it's exactly the same route.
Here is another view of Montezuma's Tower (leftmost spire):
P.S. To whom it may concern ;-). The climb can be done in one pitch with a 60m rope, but we did it in two pitches, which I think is a way to go. I didn't want to deal with the rope drag, so we sacrificed the speed. Although the route can be climbed with quickdraws only, I also used a sling (hueco) and #1 and #2 Camalots (maybe #0.4 too). To be honest, I was happy to have this stuff with me. Double ropes for rappel!!! {we used 60m and 50m, but two 50m will do fine}

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Galaxy Far, Far Away...

"Fail to have these characteristics and you could become like the soap-opera character who quickly gets written out of the show, taking a long vacation in Vladivostok, never to return."
The Infinite Book, J.D. Barrow

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Harmonic Series and Infinite Book Stacking.

There is an awesome illustration of the properties of infinite sets based on harmonic series:

S=1+1/2+1/3+1/4+... (the sum is infinite).

If you have one book of length L, the longest possible overhang is 1/2L (accounting for the gravity). Having two books (of equal size), the longest overhang is (1/2+1/4)L. If you have an infinite number of books, the overhang can be of infinite length. Very neat!

Here are clarifying drawings:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Unclimbed peaks in Tibet.

Some really good photos of unclimbed peaks in Tibet, from the Alpinist (scroll down).
Silver Turtle Expedition

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

History of climbing on Diamond (Longs Peak).

An awesome article in the Alpinist about Diamond and the history of the routes hosted there. Very good photos, and great writing.

Monday, April 9, 2007


Когда-то давно у нас на даче были огромные залежи журналов "Вокруг света", лет наверное за тридцать в общей сложности. В какой-то момент я их перебрал, рассортировал по датам и большуй часть прочитал. В одном из этих журналов я наткнулся на описание китайского деликатеса: куриное, утиное или перепелиное (сырое) яйцо обмазывается глиной и выдерживается при ~комнатной температуре где-то три (три, это не ошибка!) месяца. И все, продукт к употреблению готов. Мягко говоря, меня этот рецепт вверг в шок, было очень интересно, что-же получается, если яйцо три месяца вне холодильника продержать. Да даже и в холодильники, через три месяца все равно должно стухнуть.

Этим воскресеньем, в гостях, увидел следующюю штуку:На вопрос "Что такое?", ответили "century egg". Сказать по-правде, я подумал, что это какой-то десерт, какой-то мармелад со странной темной начинкой. Хотя мысль про мега-яйцо промелькнула, но была сразу же отметена. Где-то четвертинка была мной тут же засунута в рот. Блин, и тут я понял, что это действительно этот китайский деликатес, все без обмана. Но отступать было уже некуда, стараясь не думать о том, как эта штука сделана, я ее прожевал и проглотил. Блин, пишу сейчас об этом и ощущаю во рту этот привкус. Мощная вещь, что можно сказать. Самое интересное, что она практически безвкусная, и запах тоже очень слабый, так, чуть-чуть яйцами пахнет. Недаром ее рекомендуют с маринованным имбирем есть. Но есть такой четкий привкус тухлятины (на мой взгляд). Причем он как-то долго во рту держится. Хотя может это все у меня в голове, но все же, есть эту штуку я бы стал только где-то на 6-7 день голодовки. Да, что только китайские товарищи не едят, выдать не от хорошей жизни.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Flowers of Glass.

Looking through some old archives, I found these photos of glass flowers I made some time ago.The black color is soot. It gives a very specific dull finish (which I really like), but it is also easy to wipe off. So in order to preserve it, I put a flower in a "bottle", so it can't be touched. Just observed ;-). The "shell" also serves as a stand. It takes a long time to make a flower like that, on the order of 3 hours for a piece.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Longs Peak attempt (part 2).

Continuing with the Long's story...

After ~4 hours of hiking we got to Chasm Lake at about 7am. We took a break on the shore of the frozen lake and had some tea before starting on our main goal: Lamb's Slide. It's a long moderately steep (sustained ~40-45 degrees) couloir on the left of the Mills Glacier:This photo was taken from over Chasm Lake (Lamb's Slide is hidden by a rock buttress). A few interesting facts: Broadway is a system of sloping ledges, and Kiener's route is something that I would love to climb this summer. One needs to get to the top of Lamb's Slide, then traverse the Broadway to the base of the Notch couloir and follow further (green line). The climbing is not difficult, 5.4-5.5, but the elevation and exposure should make it a very fun undertaking. Especially considering the approach with all the gear. We'll see...

From Chasm Lake, we had to get to the base of the Lamb's Slide, and that wasn't easy. Crossing the lake was a blast, no postholing, just a walk on an ideally leveled ice powdered with a little snow. But once the lake was crossed, the angle picked up, and snow became deeper:Morgan was breaking the trail, and finally we got to the base on the couloir. Here is a photo of the Chasm Lake from the base of Lamb's Slide: Getting there wasn't particulary easy, and we had a long way to go:That's the Lamb's Slide, as viewed from its base, Mills Glacier. This couloir got his name after Reverend Elkanah J. Lamb's near-fatal tumble from it. During summer and early autumn the couloir is all iced, so it's practically impossible to self-arrest if you slip on it. One has to use running belays to safely climb it. On the other hand, there is no avalanche danger when it's one big solid piece of ice. You win some you loose some :-). In our case the snow wasn't very well consolidated making it very easy to self-arrest but difficult to climb. Before starting climbing the couloir, Morgan and I carved a ledge in snow and roped up. We hauled the rope all this way, we simply had to use it :-). If anything, it was mostly for glacier techniques practice. Once we got the rope figured out, I went ahead and started to kick steps up the Slide:I must say, that was a hard work. Especially in the lower section of the couloir, where snow was loose and I was sinking to my knees. Higher up snow got firmer, and climbing got a lot more pleasant. To give you an idea, it's like climbing a very steep staircase, but with no steps: you need to kick them in first. And the couloir just keeps going, and going, and going. Slowly, we were getting higher:The views were breathtaking. The Diamond was dominating on our side, like a huge sea of granite:Finally, we got to the top of Lamb's. At ~11-30am. It took us more than 4 hours to get there! Last 100 meters were fun, to say the least. A very good workout indeed. Here is a photo of Broadway taken from there. It looks like a really exciting traverse: We took a shot break and assessed the situation. It was almost noon, and very warm. In order to get to the Loft, we had to cross the top of the Flying Dutchman couloir:We've been hiking for about 9 hours at this point, and snow conditions were becoming unstable (we saw a really pretty loose snow avalanche going from the corner of Broadway and Chasm View Wall). We had at least 3 more hours to go to the summit, possibly even more. So the decision wasn't difficult: we had a great day, and there was no point in pushing our luck. We decided to turn around:

We glissaded down Lamb's Slide and hiked back to Chasm Lake. It took less then one hour to get down (and more than four hours to get up). We spent about an hour there resting and enjoying the scenery. Finally, it was time to go: we had to cross a snow field and hike back to the parking lot. The snow was turning into a slush, we were getting worried about wet slab avalanches, so we pushed ahead. It was interesting in spots:

Here is Longs Peak from Chasm Junction. We didn't summit this time, but it was well worth all our troubles nonetheless.It took us 13 and a half hours from car to car. Time well spent :-).

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Headset modification (Altec Lansing AHS515).

In the original headset (Altec Lansing AHS515) microphone just wasn't working very well, it was positioned too far from the mouth. But since the headphones themselves are pretty good, I decided to fix the problem rather then buy a new headset. I would also hate to waste money :-).
I extended the microphone lever with a piece of 1/4'' copper tubing. Here is a modified headset:Now it works great and looks kinda funny. I like the copper tube extension (shiny!) Here is an original device:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Longs Peak attempt.

After our successful trip to Chasm Lake Morgan and I got pretty psyched about doing some more steep snow climbs. So this Monday (12th of March 2007) Morgan and I attempted to summit Longs Peak. In current near-winter conditions it was a very ambitious goal, but we decided to give it a shot. Our first priority was getting some steep snow climbing, so the route was chosen accordingly. We decided to start very early, get to the Chasm Lake, climb Lamb's Slide, get to the Loft, then turn around Longs Peak and get to the summit via Clark's Arrow route. Here is map showing the Chasm Lake Cirque with some of the names and the route we did:
We left Fort Collins at 1-10am and got to the Longs Peak trailhead around 2-30am. After gearing up we started hiking at 3-10am. The night was clear and warm, with no wind. The trail was glazed with ice and pretty slick, so after about 5 or 10 minutes of hiking we put on crampons and went on. We had a long way to go to Chasm Lake, and our most important objective lied further.

It's an eerie feeling, hiking in the middle of the night in the winter forest, with an LED headlamp as a main source of light. With LED's very white and not very powerful illumination, you have a spot of ghostly white trail in front of you surrounded with a bunch of black shadows. It is a pretty exquisite feeling (especially after having 1.5 hours of sleep ;-).

After we got above timberline, the wind picked up and it got pretty chilly. As we made our way up to the Chasm Junction, we were either postholing through the wind drifts or tripping over exposed rocks. It was still pitch black, with no indication of the sunrise, wind was blowing continuously, and I was slowly cooling down. I took off my fleece layer when we started hiking, so I had only a T-shirt and a windbreaker, which definitely wasn't enough. My hands were getting really cold without liner gloves, but there was no good place to stop and put these things on and we weren't cold enough to do it in the wind. Finally, after ~2 hours of hiking we got past the windy Chasm Junction (it's almost always windy there since it's on the ridge) and hid from the wind over a tall boulder on the shoulder of Mount Lady Washington.

There we put some additional clothes and had some food with a few sips of hot green jasmine tea. Despite the fact that thermos is heavy and caffeine is diuretic (not the best thing in the mountains, where the danger of dehydration is ever-present), it's one of the absolutely must-have items for me. Nothing lifts the spirit and shakes you up quite like it ;-). This time too, after our tea-break things were looking much better, and it wasn't that cold anymore. The east horizon was turning into a red band - it was time to move along. We put crampons on (we took them off negotiating a rocky path to the Chasm Junction), took out ice axes and went ahead.

Watching the sunrise in a place like that is amazing. The colors were quickly changing from deep-red to orange and then to gold:We were crossing snow slopes on our way to Chasm Lake, and the place could not be better for watching the whole succession of colors. It was well worth getting up in the midnight:
As you can probably tell, the sky on these last two photos is very deep-blue. This time instead of having a UV filter, I put a circular polarizer on my camera. I think it paid off :-).
When we got to the Chasm Lake the sun was pretty high up, illuminating the Diamond with golden light. Simply amazing, a Golden Diamond:To be continued...