Anastasia led out as I told her my suspicions and that we needed to get up and over the mountain fast. She got noticeably slower at this point, and by the time we reached 13,000 ft she plopped down and asked me to lead on.
The higher we got the worse she got. At about 13,500 ft Anastasia started demanding that we stop and make camp and descend the next day on account of the whiteout and her feeling sick and exhausted. Although I was willing to stop with Eric on Liberty Cap, in that circumstance I knew that we could recover and be stronger for a continued descent. In Anastasia's case, I knew that if her problem was AMS, if we stopped up high we would be in even worse condition to descend the next day.
Anastasia was too tired to care much about my concern, but I got her to keep going by giving her the rest of my food and water. By the time we got to Liberty Cap we were engaged in an tough case of tug of war, and every few minutes she stopped and tried to talk me into making camp.
"We are not making camp until we at least reach 12,000 ft on the Emmons Glacier," I said. That would at least put us just below the elevation where Anastasia started having problems, and it would have us on one of the major trade routes where it would be easy to get assistance for descent if her AMS got worse. I also secretly hoped that if I got her that far we could finish the final relatively straightforward 2,000 ft descent to Camp Schurman.
For a while Anastasia agreed to go along with my demand, but as she got more tired and sick, our pace slowed, and it became increasingly difficult to keep her moving. I felt bad about being so cruel in that respect, but I felt that we would be in serious trouble if we made camp, and that if she had enough energy to complain and argue, she had enough energy to keep moving.
"Anastasia, we can rest all you need to keep moving, but we cannot stop and make camp." This worked for a while, and we spent about half the time resting as she tried to eat and drink. Eventually she stopped caring about getting down and became resistant to continuing on again. I (half bluffingly) said I would only be willing to make camp sooner than the Emmons Glacier if I called for rescue with my SPOT device and cell phone. This worked for a while longer as she was not willing to call for rescue yet and the terrain had flattened. Unfortunately it only got us to the saddle between Liberty Cap & Columbia Crest, when we had to gain another 200' to bypass the seracs that I knew were waiting for us above the Winthrop Glacier.
Anastasia was getting disoriented enough at this point that she was getting lost, despite being tied into me! The clouds were so thick she couldn't see me at the end of the rope and couldn't make sense of the rope tension. She also fell into a small crevasse as she was no longer really looking out for herself. I brought in coils, increasing the danger of one of us pulling the other into a crevasse in hopes that she could better follow me and I could better point out crevasses I found probing. I knew that if I fell into one I would be on my own, so I moved very carefully. Visibility was as bad as when I had crossed the Cap with Eric theweekend prior, and although I had our GPS track, it was still very difficult to stay on course with all of these other curve balls thrown into the scene.
After an interminable amount of time and bickering as she continued to resist pushing on, we finally reached the Emmons Glacier. For a while she improved as we descended. As I had hoped, we came across a climbing party, and although we seemed to be moving OK by this time, I asked them to tell the rangers at Camp Schurman about our situation, and that we might need assistance in the morning to finish descending.
We barely made it to 12,000 ft by sunset. By this point Anastasia was deteriorating again as she began throwing up the food she was trying to eat, and was falling down uncontrollably. After hopping across one crevasse on a slope, she fell down and almost slid into the next crevasse downhill before self-arresting. I REALLY needed a second climber to help short-rope her! I didn't want to stop with her due to her condition, but between her begging to stop again, the fall and approaching darkness, I relented and chopped out a ledge with my ice tool and set up the tent.
Fortunately, despite Anastasia being so uncooperative and me being so unsympathetic to her pleas, we made amends and Anastasia admitted that as much as I was being a jerk, she was being stubborn and it was good that we had pressed on to get to where we were. I had my first bit of food & drink since topping out on Ptarmigan Ridge 9 hours earlier (it normally takes 3 hrs to cover the same terrain) and went to sleep.